The oldest figurine sculpted by humans

Schelklingen, Germany - Scientists have discovered the oldest sculpture shaped by the hand of man. This is the first of that time to represent a human figure, in this case a naked woman represents the symbol of fertility. It provides additional information on the beginnings of art.

The sculpture represents a woman with exaggerated sexual characteristics: a strong chest, a large belly and large buttocks. Carved out a defense of mammoth ivory statuette of the 6 cm appears to have been the symbol of fertility for the first men.

According to scientists, this "Venus", found last year in the Hohle Fels cave near Schelklingen south-west Germany, is probably the oldest representation of the human type. The carbon 14 dating proves it has at least 35000 years. The fragments, which were then assembled, were found alongside stone, bone and ivory tools used by early Homo sapiens populations in Europe.

Dr. Nicholas Conard of the University Tübingen, who described the discovery in the journal Nature, said: "The new figure Hohle Fels radically change our vision of the origins of Paleolithic art. It is unknown when humans began to produce works of art, but geometric designs dating back 75000 years have been observed on rocks in Africa. The Hohle Fels cave is located not far from the Danube Valley. Scientists believe that the first humans would have followed this route when they left Africa to Eastern Europe and Central.

This area is a rich archeological site, has already revealed many figurative works of art: sculptures representing small mammoths, bison, lions, horses and birds, figures and two half-man, half animal. It also found examples of jewelry such as necklaces or pendants, ivory, and a flute in mammoth ivory, the oldest musical instrument in the world.

Dr. Paul Mellar of Cambridge University discovered commented: "The abundance of small figurines carved of ivory on the site in southern Germany shows that it may be the birthplace of a true sculptural artistic tradition in Europe, indeed the world. "

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