Phys.org wrote:Ivory sculpture in Germany could be world's oldest
The figurine originates from a red-brown, clayey silt at the base of about one meter of Aurignacian deposits.The Venus lay in pieces next to a number of limestone blocks with dimension of several decimeters. The find density in the area of the Venus is moderately high with much flint knapping debris, worked bone and ivory, bones of horse, reindeer, cave bear, mammoth, ibex, as well as burnt bone.
Radiocarbon dates from this horizon span the entire range from 31,000 - 40,000 years ago. The fact that the venus is overlain by five Aurignacian horizons that contain a dozen stratigraphically intact anthropogenic features with a total thickness of 70 - 120 cm, suggests that figurine is indeed of an age corresponding to the start of the Aurignacian around 40,000 years ago.
Although much ivory working debris has been recovered from the basal Aurignacian deposits at Hohle Fels and the nearby site of Geißenklösterle, this sculpture is the first example of figurative art recovered from the basal Aurignacian in Swabia. The discovery of the Venus of Hohle Fels refutes claims that figurative representations and other symbolic artifacts first appear the later phases of the Swabian Aurignacian.
The Venus shows a range of entirely unique features as well as a number of characteristics present in later female figurines. The Venus of Hohle Fels lacks a head. Instead an off-centered, but carefully carved ring is located above the broad shoulders of the figurine. This ring, despite being weathered, preserves polish suggesting that the figurine was worn as a pendant.