Stone Age figurine has contentious origins

Ivory female carving may be at least 35,000 years old, alter views of how Stone Age art developed

By Bruce Bower, 12:16 PM May 19, 2009

Some women have mysterious pasts, but a few have mysterious prehistories. Archaeologist Nicholas Conard of the University of Tübingen in Germany has found one such lady. She’s carved out of ivory, boasts exaggerated sexual features and fits in the palm of his hand.

Conard says that his discovery, reported in the May 14 Nature, demonstrates that artistic renditions of the human form, called figurative art, originated in Europe between 35,000 and 40,000 years ago. That’s thousands of years be...

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