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15,000 year old 'Venus' figure discovered on Croatia's Dugi Otok island


Archaeologists have discovered a 15.000 years old bone pendant carved in what appears to be the shape of a female figure while conducting excavations in Vlakno Cave on Croatia's Dugi Otok island.

15,000 year old 'Venus' figure discovered on Croatia's Dugi Otok island
Credit: Sveučilište u Zadru
Vlakno Cave, located in the middle of Dugi Otok, has a large entrance overlooking Rava island and a water spring nearby, making it an ideal location for a settlement of a small community from prehistoric times onwards.

Excavations at Vlanko Cave have been conducted for over 15 years and have reached a depth of five metres, uncovering multiple cultural layers that can be traced back 19,500 years.

15,000 year old 'Venus' figure discovered on Croatia's Dugi Otok island
Credit: Sveučilište u Zadru
Artefacts discovered at the site include bones of larger animals such as deer, wild horses and aurochs which suggest that hunting was the main source of food for the inhabitants of Vlakno Cave in the Palaeolithic Age.

Numerous tools and weapons have also been found, including two bone harpoons that stand out as extraordinary findings, since the use of harpoons in southeastern Europe is extremely rare before the Mesolithic.

15,000 year old 'Venus' figure discovered on Croatia's Dugi Otok island
Credit: Sveučilište u Zadru
Dr. Dario Vujevic, a researcher from the Department of Archaeology at the University in Zadar, says the bone carving is the first depiction of the human form from the Palaeolithic found in Croatia.

The figurine has been named Lili as a tribute to a colleague who has been actively involved in the excavations for many years.

Although Lili doesn't have prominent physical attributes like some of her famous counterparts, such as the Venus of Willendorf from Austria, all objects of this sort are described as female figures and belong to the category of the so-called 'Palaeolithic Venus'.

According to Vujevic, similar examples have been found in Dolni Vestovice in the Czech Republic and Mal'ta in Russia.

Source: Zadarski [November 30, 2017]

TANN

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