German 'Venus' may be oldest yet
A grotesque carving in mammoth ivory is arguably the world's oldest depiction of a human figure, scientists say.
The distorted sculpture, which portrays a woman with huge breasts, big buttocks and exaggerated genitals, is thought to be at least 35,000 years old.
The 6cm-tall figurine, reported in the journal Nature, is the latest find to come from Hohle Fels Cave in Germany.
Previous discoveries have included exquisite carvings of animals, and an object that could be a stone "sex toy".
Moreover, the range and sophistication of similar materials found across the Schwabian region of southern Germany has led some researchers to believe cave complexes such as Hohle Fels could have been early artists' workshops.
The Venus of Hohle Fels was found in six fragments in September 2008. It is still missing its left arm and shoulder, but researchers are hopeful these will emerge in future excavations of the cave's sediments.
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Posted by treehugger-uk
14th May 2009ce