25,000-Year-Old Human Face, Carved From Mammoth Ivory, Discovered In 1894 In France

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Have you ever wondered how the oldest human looked like? It would be very interesting to see the real photograph of one of the oldest ancestors. Well, there is no photo but a real 3D art of the oldest human face. During an excavation near the French village of Brassempouy, archaeologists recovered a face of the human (woman) of the Upper Palaeolithic era (late stone age). It is known as Venus of Brassempouy or the Lady of Brassempouy or La Dame de Brassempouy or Lady with the Hood.

early human face
The Venus of Brassempouy on display at National Archaeological Museum

The Venus of Brassempouy was discovered by a French archaeologist named Édouard Piette. Researchers claimed that the woman’s face had been carved into the ivory of a mammoth. Its dimensions are 3.65 cm high, over 2 cm deep, and 1.9 cm wide. It is estimated to be around a 25,000-year-old artifact and the oldest known human description that includes a forehead, nose, head but without any mouth. Egyptian-style braids or headdresses are cut at the top and sides. The realistic facial details added by carver made it a unique piece of art. Unfortunately, the rest of her body was destroyed during antiquity.

Venus de Brassempouy
Venus de Brassempouy created more than 25,000 years ago

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Venus of Brassempouy was attributed to the era of Gravettian art of the Upper Paleolithic period, the last part of the Stone Age, and dates back to about 23000 BC.

Other Venus figurines ( Upper Palaeolithic statuettes) were created in the same period as several other similar figurines, including Venus of Dolní Vestonice (Czech Republic), Venus of Willendorf (Austria), Venus of Lespugue (France), Venus of Savignano (Italy), bas-relief of Venus of Laussel (France).

ancient human face
A different view of the Venus of Brassempouy

The collection of the Venus of Brassempouy is placed in a beautiful museum that is situated in Saint-Germain-en-Laye in the National Archaeological Museum near Paris and is usually only accessible to the public during short temporary exhibitions of Stone Age art. The replica is on display at the House of Ladies in Brassempouy, along with replicas of other figurines found at Grotte du Pape, as well as other famous works of Paleolithic art and culture such as the Venus of Willendorf and Lespugue.

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