Archaeologists in Germany have discovered the oldest known sculpture: a small ivory figure with no head or feet and very large breasts. It’s believed to be 35,000 years old, which argues that humans had developed a capacity for abstract thinking and creating symbols at an extremely early point in human history. When asked about the motivation for creating this piece, ” ‘It’s very sexually charged,’ said University of Tuebingen archaeologist Nicholas Conard, whose team discovered the figure in September.”
What was the impetus for this first sculpture? That’s anybody’s guess, and opinions range between fertility object or some sort of goddess worship. According to at least one archeologist, the reason humans first created a sculpture was sex, pure and simple. “These people were obsessed with sex.”
The figure bears this out: it’s feet didn’t break off–nor did its head. Similar sculptures of naked women without head or feet were made in the region at much later periods. An archaeologist from the University of Cambridge argued that “We now have evidence of that sort of artistic tradition of Venus figurines going back 6,000 years earlier than anybody ever guessed.” This figure changes both the estimated development of humans at this point in time and the context and meaning of the earliest art made.
Who knew sex was the thing that inspired us to crawl out of the primordial ooze?