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Thread: Oldest statue (figurine) in the world?

  1. #1

    Oldest statue (figurine) in the world?

    A previous post had suggested that ability to make fire may be uniquely human. That stimulated me to think about what other behaviors are uniquely human. One of them may be the making of statues of themselves and others. Are there are "animals" who have made statues of themselves? I can't think of any.

    So, I started to keep an eye out for the "oldest" statues ever discovered. After all, statues are often made of stones and they should be preserved amongst the artifacts of ancient people. For that reason, the following article attracted my interest:

    http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/index....subID=1127&p=2
    Is this the world’s oldest statue?

    It should be famous but it stands alone and unloved, says sean thomas

    I can't quite work out what I'm seeing. It looks like a fossilised snowman. Or maybe a mock-up of a Doctor Who monster. Yet, if scholars are right, this is the oldest statue in the world. The cream-coloured effigy was found in the ancient Kurdish city of Sanliurfa, in the hot plains of central southern Turkey, not far from the extraordinary archaeological dig of Gobekli Tepe.

    The statue was discovered a few years ago when foundations were being laid for a new bank. The excavations took place right next to an historic city attraction - the Balikli Gol, a beautiful fishpond surrounded by mosques and gardens.
    The statue is apparently 10,000 years old.


    But there is apparently an even earlier "statue", the Venus of Willendorf that is supposedly 20,000 years old.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_of_Willendorf



    But, apparently, the oldest porn statue in the world is from about 7200 years ago:
    Archaeologist finds 'oldest porn statue'


    Krysia Diver in Stuttgart
    Monday April 4, 2005
    The Guardian

    Stone-age figurines depicting what could be the oldest pornographic scene in the world have been unearthed in Germany.

    Archaeologists have discovered what they believe to be the 7,200-year-old remnants of a man having intercourse with a woman.

    The extraordinary find, at an archaeological dig in Saxony, shatters the belief that sex was a taboo subject in that era.

    Until now, the oldest representations of sexual scenes were frescos from about 2,000 years ago.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/germany/ar...451509,00.html

    But apparently, the oldest statue in the world is the "lion man" from 30,000 years ago.

    http://www.vnn.org/world/WD0401/WD01-8500.html
    January 1, 2004 VNN8500

    Lion Man Oldest Statue

    FROM NATURE NEWS SERVICE

    USA, Jan 1 (VNN) — Lion man takes pride of place as oldest statue

    30,000-year-old carving might be work of Neanderthals or modern humans.

    Rex Dalton

    Intricate ivory carvings said to be the oldest known examples of figurative art have been uncovered in a cave in southwestern Germany. Researchers say that the finding could change our understanding of early man's imaginative endeavours.

    The artefacts - including a figurine depicting a Lowenmensch ('lion man') - have been carbon-dated to around 30,000 years ago, when some of the earliest known relatives of modern humans populated Europe.
    Last edited by Wise Young; 12-03-2006 at 09:53 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Young
    A previous post had suggested that ability to make fire may be uniquely human. That stimulated me to think about what other behaviors are uniquely human. One of them may be the making of statues of themselves and others. Are there are "animals" who have made statues of themselves? I can't think of any.

    So, I started to keep an eye out for the "oldest" statues ever discovered. After all, statues are often made of stones and they should be preserved amongst the artifacts of ancient people. For that reason, the following article attracted my interest:

    http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/index....subID=1127&p=2


    The statue is apparently 10,000 years old.


    But there is apparently an even earlier "statue", the Venus of Willendorf that is supposedly 20,000 years old.
    http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...&ct=image&cd=3
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_of_Willendorf

    http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=106...2-K&size=LARGE

    But, apparently, the oldest porn statue in the world is from about 7200 years ago:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/germany/ar...451509,00.html

    But apparently, the oldest statue in the world is the "lion man" from 30,000 years ago.

    http://www.vnn.org/world/WD0401/WD01-8500.html
    Since modern man or Homo sapiens sapiens seems to have first appeared about 130,000 ago,

    All people today are classified as Homo sapiens sapiens--i.e., the sapiens variety of the species Homo sapiens. They first began to appear 130,000 years ago or somewhat earlier in association with technologies not unlike those of the early Neandertals.

    It is now clear that they did not come after the Neandertals but were their contemporaries.
    http://anthro.palomar.edu/homo2/mod_homo_4.htm


    it is reasonable to anticipate that there will be future finds of even older statues.

    P.S. Dayyum, Homos have been around forever.
    "The world will not perish for want of wonders but for want of wonder."
    J.B.S.Haldane

  3. #3
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    Archaeologist Sheila Coulson from the UiO just discovered carvings on a snake shaped rock in a cave in Botswana which could be 70,000 years, this also indicates that religion could have existed then and also that cultural activity started before humans came to Europe some 40,000 years ago. Some say those finding will change much of how we have viewed such things. Source. I’ll post this separately in the science forums as well but will this be considered a “statue” too? I think so.


    VIRTUAL SLITHERING: In flickering light the carved rock gives the appearance of an undulating snake. Image: SHEILA COULSON
    Last edited by Leif; 12-02-2006 at 08:25 AM.

  4. #4
    I edited my post to get the image of the Venus of Willendorf to show. I guess that it is the equivalent of a touch and feel Playboy centerfold from 20,000 years ago. To my knowledge, more than fire, this is the most unique aspect of humans. The power of statues and images is great. But, evidence that images or statues of people before 40,000 are still rare. For example, the oldest European cave paintings mostly featured animals and tracings of human hands (Source).

    http://cas.bellarmine.edu/tietjen/Hu...oldest_art.htm

    The world's oldest cave paintings of human figures are believed to be in northern Italy, dated between 32,000-36,500 years old, but they look quite crude to me: (Source).


    By contrast, the oldest central Europe cave paintings are thought to be no more than 13,000 years ago (Source) and the oldest examples of African Rock Art are at the Wonderwerk Cave where charcoal-marked slabs of stone have been dated from 25,000-27,000 years ago. http://www.lonker.net/art_african_1.htm

    So, the snake statue dated at about 70,000 years old is by far the oldest animal representation. I have to admit that it is not particularly artistic and certainly not as evocative as the Venus of Willendorf.


    I wonder what archeologists will think several thousand years from now when they unearth a statue of Bruce Lee in a Bosnian city, as a symbol of world peace?

    http://www.boingboing.net/2005/11/28...n_unveils.html

    Wise.
    Last edited by Wise Young; 12-04-2006 at 03:14 AM.

  5. #5
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    Some australian aboriginal rock art is believed to be 40,000 years old.
    http://www.aboriginalartonline.com/art/rock.php

  6. #6

    about balikligol statue

    I would like to correct something about Sanlıurfa which is mentioned as an ancient kurdish city. It is a Turkish city.

  7. #7

    venus of willendorf

    not the oldest, but this one always comes to mind as significant in history. just seconding an earlier post on this thread.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Venus_of_Willendorf
    Last edited by Darren; 08-22-2008 at 11:08 PM.

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