Archaeologists discover Paleolithic Venus in Romania for the first time

(ORDO NEWS) — Archaeologists first discovered a Paleolithic Venus in Romania. An anthropomorphic stone figurine almost ten centimeters high was found at the recently discovered Piatra Neamts-1 monument. The age of the artifact is about 20 thousand years.

Along with the rock art of the Franco-Cantabrian region, perhaps the most recognizable works of art of the Old Stone Age are the Paleolithic Venuses.

Usually they are small figurines made from animal tusks or bones, soft rocks or clay, ranging in size from 3 to 40 centimeters, which are found on monuments from the Iberian Peninsula to the Irkutsk region.

Many of the Paleolithic Venuses depict naked women with pronounced anatomical features – breasts, abdomen, thighs, buttocks and genitals, which prompted a number of researchers to interpret these finds as symbols of femininity and fertility, or as sexual objects created by men.

However, it is worth noting that among modern scholars there is no consensus on the meaning of these objects.

The oldest known Paleolithic Venus is about 35-40 thousand years old – it was found in the south-west of Germany in the Hole Fels cave.

Archaeologists discover Paleolithic Venus in Romania for the first time 2
Location of the Piatra Neamt-1 site and its stratigraphy

Elena-Cristina Nițu from the Museum of Human Evolution and Paleolithic Technologies in Targovishte, together with colleagues from Romania and the United States, presented the results of a study of the Paleolithic Venus discovered in situ in 2019 during the excavation of the Piatra Neamt-1 site.

This ancient Stone Age site was discovered in 2018 in the Eastern Carpathians. According to researchers, this is the first Paleolithic Venus found in Romania.

According to archaeologists, the anthropomorphic figurine was found in the cultural layer next to the hearth. This is an important observation, since Venus has already been found in Eastern Europe in the same context.

With other female statuettes from this region, she is also united by a head tilted forward. Microscopic and chemical analyzes have confirmed that the found artifact is ancient, and not a modern fake.

Judging by the traces in the neck area, in the Paleolithic era, this figurine was hung on a string.

Venus itself is a figurine 9.9 centimeters high and up to 6.9 centimeters wide. Its maximum thickness is 3.6 centimeters, and the diameter of the head reaches 3.3 centimeters.

The ancient master used sandstone as a material for its manufacture. Archaeologists have noted the most obvious features of the new female figure. So, she lacks facial features, feet and hands, while a very complex head morphology.

The chest and buttocks are depicted flat, and the shape of the abdomen does not indicate that the woman is pregnant.

The vulva is depicted in normal shape and size. On the neck, legs and genitals, the researchers noticed a red pigment, which, judging by the chemical analysis, is hematite.

Other finds at this site include fragmented remains of animals such as wild horses (Equus), red deer (Cervus elaphus) or reindeer (Rangifer tarandus).

One shaft of a long bone may have belonged to a human. Also among the finds are gastropod shells and a few stone artifacts, some of which were heated.

Earlier on N + 1 they talked about the study of another Paleolithic Venus – Willendorf. Scientists from Austria and Germany found out that it was made from oolitic limestone mined in northern Italy.


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