No one would mistake the Stone Age ivory carving for a Venus de Milo. The voluptuous woman depicted is, to say the least, earthier, with huge, projecting breasts and sexually explicit genitals.
Nicholas J. Conard, an archaeologist at the University of TÃ¼bingen, in Germany, who found the small carving in a cave last year, said it was at least 35,000 years old, â€œone of the oldest known examples of figurative artâ€ in the world. It is about 5,000 years older than some other so-called Venus artifacts made by early populations of Homo sapiens in Europe.
Another archaeologist, Paul Mellars of the University of Cambridge, in England, agreed and went on to remark on the obvious. By modern standards, he said, the figurineâ€™s blatant sexuality â€œcould be seen as bordering on the pornographic.â€