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Prehistoric pin-up

The Hohle Fels Venus is a 5 cm-high figurine of a woman with grotesquely exaggerated sexual features, carved from mammoth-ivory at least 35,000 years ago. Discovered in six pieces in September 2008 at the base of thick and well-stratified Aurignacian deposits at Hohle Fels Cave in southwestern Germany, the Venus may be the oldest-known example of figurative art, 5,000 years older than the next-oldest examples, the well-known ‘Venuses’ of the Gravettian culture.

Nature 459, 7244 table of contents

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