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Venus of Dolní Věstonice

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Venus of Dolní Věstonice
Venus of Dolni Vestonice.png
Material Ceramic
Created 29,000 BC – 25,000 BC
Discovered 1925 in Moravia
Present location Moravské zemské muzeum, Brno, Czech Republic

The Venus of Dolní Věstonice (Plantilla:Lang-cz) is a Venus figurine, a ceramic statuette of a nude female figure dated to 29,000–25,000 BCE (Gravettian industry), which was found at a Paleolithic site in the Moravian basin south of Brno.

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This figurine, together with a few others from nearby locations, is the oldest known ceramic in the world, predating the use of fired clay[1] to make pottery. It has a height of 111 millimetres (4.4 in), and a width of 43 millimetres (1.7 in) at its widest point and is made of a clay body fired at a relatively low temperature.

The palaeolithic settlement of Dolní Věstonice in Moravia, a part of Czechoslovakia at the time organized excavation began, now located in the Czech Republic, has been under systematic archaeological research since 1924, initiated by Karel Absolon. In addition to the Venus figurine, figures of animals – bear, lion, mammoth, horse, fox, rhino and owl – and more than 2,000 balls of burnt clay have been found at Dolní Věstonice.

The figurine was discovered on 13 July 1925 in a layer of ash, broken into two pieces. Once on display at the Moravian Museum in Brno, it is now protected and only rarely accessible to the public. It was exhibited in the National Museum in Prague from 11 October 2006 till 2 September 2007 as a part of the exhibition Lovci mamutů (The Mammoth Hunters).[2][3][4] Now it is presented in the Moravian Museum in Brno at an expo "Prehistoric Art in Central Europe". It will return back to depository after June 2009.[5] Scientists periodically examine the statuette. A tomograph scan in 2004 found a fingerprint of a child estimated at between 7 and 15 years of age, fired into the surface; the child who handled the figurine before it was fired is considered by Králík, Novotný and Oliva (2002) to be an unlikely candidate for its maker.[6]

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Citations and notes
  1. The body used is the local loess, with only traces of clay; there is no trace of surface burnishing or applied pigment. Pamela B. Vandiver, Olga Soffer, Bohuslav Klima and Jiři Svoboda, "The Origins of Ceramic Technology at Dolni Věstonice, Czechoslovakia", Science, New Series, 246, No. 4933 (November 24, 1989:1002-1008).
  2. Mammoth Hunters at the National Museum, information at the official website of the Czech Republic
  3. Primal Bohemia, The Prague Post, October 18, 2006
  4. Lovci mamutů, information on the web of the National Museum Plantilla:Cs icon
  5. Venus of Dolní Věstonice and of Venus of Willendorf shown in Anthropos, Brno Now, June 26, 2009
  6. Králík, Miroslav; Novotný, Vladimír; Oliva, Martin (2002), "Fingerprint on the Venus of Dolní Věstonice I", Anthropologie (Moravské zemské muzeum, Brno, Czech Republic) 40/2: 107–113, ISSN 0323-1119, http://www.mzm.cz/Anthropologie/abstrakty/2002-2/02-2Kralik.htm, retrieved 2007-03-24 
General Information
  • National Geographic Society. Wonders of the Ancient World; National Geographic Atlas of Archaeology, Norman Hammond, Consultant, Nat'l Geogr. Soc., (Multiple Staff authors), (Nat'l Geogr., R.H.Donnelley & Sons, Willard, OH), 1994, 1999, Reg or Deluxe Ed., 304 pgs. Deluxe ed. photo (pg 248): "Venus, Dolni Věstonice, 24,000 B.C." In section titled: The Potter's Art, pp 246–253.

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