A Venus figurine rewrites prehistory

"The figurine is the earliest depiction of a human and one of the oldest known examples of figurative art worldwide and is at least 35,000 years old."

"The new figurine from Hohle Fels [in southwestern Germany] radically changes our view of origins of Paleolithic art. Prior to this discovery, animals and therianthropic imagery dominated the over two dozen figurines from the Swabian Aurignacian. Female imagry was entirely unknown. With this discovery, the notion that three dimensional female imagery developed in the Gravettian can be rejected. Also the interpretations suggesting that strong, aggressive animals or shamanic depictions dominate the Aurignacian art of Swabia, or even Europe as a whole, need to be reconsidered. Although there is a long history of debate over the meaning of Paleolithic Venuses, their clear sexual attributes suggest that they are a direct or indirect expression of fertility. The Venus of Hohle Fels provides an entirely new view of the art from the early Upper Paleolithic and reinforces the arguments that have been made for innovative cultural manifestations accompanying the rise of the Swabian Aurignacian."

Good video here: http://www.nature.com/nature/videoarchive/prehistoricpinup/