flowers of tan

Venus of Tan-Tan

The Venus of Tan-Tan was found in Morocco. It is 6 centimeters long, gender indeterminate and faceless, and has been dated between 300,000 and 500,000 BC. It and its contemporary, the Venus of Berekhat Ram, might be the earliest representations of the human form.

Made from quartzite, it was painted with red ochre indicating a possible symbolic importance. It may be one of the earliest representations of pigmentation application found. It was discovered in 1999, during an archaeological survey by Lutz Fiedler, state archaeologist of Hesse, Germany, in a river terrace deposit on the north bank of the Draa River a few kilometers south of the Moroccan town of Tan-Tan.

It is often categorised as one of the Venus figurines, although there is some controversy amongst archaeologists as to its nature and origin. To its discoverer and others, e.g., Robert Bednarik , the object probably had a general human-like shape that was accentuated by carving it with a stone-wedge; some artificial smudge stains are interpreted as remnants of pigments used by humans to further accentuate its human-like form. For others, for instance Professor Stanley Ambrose of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign , it is a total fortuitous event that natural weathering and erosion have produced this human-like object.


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