Archaeology Archaeologist finds 'oldest form of erotica - statue'

Discussion in 'Archaeology' started by mscbkc070904, Apr 4, 2005.

  1. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

    Archaeologist finds \'oldest form of erotica - statue\'

    I know this might not be a good topic to post, but it does have a point, historically.

  2. JcMinJapan

    JcMinJapan Premium Member

    Wow, this is definately an interesting find and will certainly open the door to speculation the the type of society that existeed back then..... The stone age age huh? Wow, I did not even know that they had clay figurines back than.....
  3. mscbkc070904

    mscbkc070904 Premium Member

    Stone Age Erotica Found?

    April 14, 2005 — German archaeologists have found what they believe is Europe's earliest known clay figure of a male, along with a female figure that they think once was attached to the male in a sexual position.

    Together, the two finds could represent the earliest three-dimensional depiction of a copulating human couple, according to the archaeological team.

    Clay is difficult to date accurately, the team indicated, but markings on the objects, their style and the place in which they were found suggest that the figures date to 5,200 B.C.

    "We don't really know what function sexual representations really had in those times," said Harald Stäuble, a scientist with the National Office for Archaeology in Dresden, Germany, who led the excavation. "But we know that they were colonizing early farmers, and we expect that fertility rites must have had an overall importance."

    Stäuble and his colleagues unearthed the artifacts while excavating a site called Zschernitz, just north of Leipzig.
    The team is responsible for researching sites marked for pipeline and highway projects. Zschernitz was being prepared for the installation of a gas pipeline when the remains of the ancient figures were found.

    The findings will be published in an upcoming issue of the German archaeological journal Germania.

    Stäuble told Discovery News that two fragments make up the male figurine, which he has nicknamed "Adonis," since early female figurines often are called "Venus." He said the name suits the male figure "very well, looking at the explicit representation of the male gender."

    The first fragment attributed to the male shows an enlarged, erect penis and the #@!&% at the front, both of which are bent slightly forward. The back of this same object shows a clearly defined buttocks.

    "The butt cheeks are decorated by two rows of triangular motifs, which are typical for the Linearbandceramic culture, which is the oldest Neolithic (late Stone Age) culture in central Europe and dates between 5,500-4,900 B.C.," Stäuble said.

    The second fragment shows part of the male's shoulder and a section of his chest. The shoulder area indicates his now-missing head must have been bent backwards.

    The second figurine, which was excavated nearby one month later, would have belonged to a 10-11 inch long statuette, as for the male. Only the buttocks, legs and knees remain, all of which suggest that it was meant to represent a female.

    Markings similar to those found on the male exist on the back of the legs, and the object's position suggest the female once could have been situated directly in front of the male.

    "The (female) figure is much more bent forward, almost 90 degrees, and could not stand by itself nor be seated," said Stäuble.

    He theorized that the couple could have been performing a ritual dance, but that a sexual scene was much more likely.

    "There will never be a positive proof for either of the two explanations, just arguments for and against," he explained. "But first of all, the penis is erected and secondly the figurines show different angles of bending forward."

    Jens Lüning, a professor emeritus from the University of Frankfurt who is an expert on prehistory, disagrees with this interpretation. He believes Neolithic statuettes should be regarded as representing individuals, and not couples.

    Most all other Neolithic figures, in fact, do clearly show separate men and women, often with exaggerated sexual characteristics, suggesting that the figures probably were related to fertility rituals. Most of these objects were excavated in what are now Iraq, Turkey and Jordan.

    Aside from the impressive age and rarity in Europe of the Zschernitz objects, Stäuble believes they are important because they "are not stylistic, but realistic."

    In future, he hopes they will inspire historians and anthropologists to investigate how people in the Stone Age viewed sex. He suggested that sex in prehistoric times may not have been a taboo subject, as it is even today in many parts of the world.

    Source: Discovery Channel