Archaeologists have unearthed a rare sculpture thought to be 23,000 years old at a dig in northern France, Art Daily reported. The artwork was discovered outside the town of Amiens.
The 12-centimeter (4.7 inch) statue of a voluptuous female figure features large breasts and buttocks. The figure’s head and arms are less detailed.
Archaeologist Clement Paris explained: “The fact that the sculpture is not totally realistic shows the intent was to produce a symbolic image of a woman linked to fecundity.”
Archaeologists painstakingly reconstructed the statue after they found a heap of limestone fragments in the earth.
At a press conference, Paris explained that the unnaturally shaped pieces alerted his team members that they may have found something special. “That same night we carefully pieced together the 20-odd fragments and realized it was a female statuette,” he said, adding, “We were expecting to find classical vestiges such as tooled flint or bones.”
A find of this nature is rare. It is the first time in half a century that such a discovery has been made and as few as one hundred similar ancient artworks from the paleolithic era have been discovered worldwide.
Nicole Phoyu-Yedid, regional director of cultural affairs of Picardy (North) told assembled journalists, “The discovery of this masterpiece is exceptional and internationally significant.”
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