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Six Iconic Ancient Artifacts
Friday 23 October 2020

An article by Bridget Alex on discovermagazine.com - The 6 Most Iconic Ancient Artifacts That Continue to Captivate - reports on some of archaeology's most famous finds.

Ancient Artifacts Natural History Museum Vienna Austria Palaeolithic female figurines Venus Willendorf
The Willendorf figurine. Image: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen/Wikimedia Commons

Now housed in the Natural History Museum Vienna in Austria, the four-inch-tall Willendorf figurine is thought to be 25,000 years old. Specks of pigment suggest the limestone sculpture was covered with red ochre.

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Archaeologists discovered the figurine in 1908 whilst excavating at Willendorf II, an archaeological site in Austria along the Danube River, roughly 50 miles from Vienna. Across Europe, nearly 200 similar statuettes between 23,000 and 40,000 years old have been excavated.

Editor's note: Upper Palaeolithic female figurines are collectively described as 'Venus figurines' in reference to the Roman goddess of beauty Venus. This expression was first used in the mid-nineteenth century. However, the term has now been criticised for being a reflection of Western ideas rather than reflecting the beliefs of the sculptures' original Palaeolthic creators and owners.

Click here to learn more about the Willendorf figurine and to see more Ice Age sculptures

click here to to see the 5 other Iconic Ancient Artifacts That Continue to Captivate

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