|Venus of Dolní V?stonice|
|Created||29,000 BCE - 25,000 BCE|
|Discovered||1925 in Moravia|
|Present location||Moravské zemské muzeum, Brno, Czech Republic|
The Venus of Dolní V?stonice (Czech: V?stonická venu?e) is a Venus figurine, a ceramic statuette of a nude female figure dated to 29,000-25,000 BCE (Gravettian industry). It was found at the Paleolithic site Dolní V?stonice in the Moravian basin south of Brno, in the base of D?vín Mountain, 549 metres (1,801 ft). This figurine and a few others from locations nearby are the oldest known ceramic articles in the world.
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 (500°C - 800°C). The statuette follows the general morphology of the other Venus figurines: exceptionally large breasts, belly and hips, perhaps symbols of fertility, relatively small head and little detail on the rest of the body.
The palaeolithic settlement of Dolní V?stonice 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 V?stonice.
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 until 2 September 2007 as a part of the exhibition Lovci mamut? (The Mammoth Hunters). It was presented in the Moravian Museum in Brno at an expo "Prehistoric Art in Central Europe". It has returned to depository as of June 2009. 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.
Media related to V?stonická venu?e at Wikimedia Commons