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.
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.
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. Comment