Limestone 'Venus' 23,000 years old dug up in France

November 27, 2014
A person points to a 23,000 year-old chalk statue of a woman called the "Venus of Renancourt" which was found at the paleolithic site of Renancourt, France, November 27, 2014

A limestone statuette of a shapely woman some 23,000 years old has been discovered in northern France in what archaeologists Thursday described as an "exceptional" find.

Archaeologists stumbled on the Paleolithic-era sculpture during a dig in the summer in Amiens, the first such find in half a century.

"The discovery of this masterpiece is exceptional and internationally significant," said Nicole Phoyu-Yedid, the head of cultural affairs in the area, on showing the find to the media.

"We were expecting to find classical vestiges such as tooled flint or bones," said archaeologist Clement Paris.

But on their second day of fieldwork, the team found a pile of limestone that included fragments which did not seem natural.

"That same night we carefully pieced together the 20-odd fragments and realised it was a female statuette," he added.

Carbon-14 dating of organic material found at the site showed the statue to be 23,000 years old.

About 12 centimetres (4.7 inches) high, it shows a with big breasts and buttocks. The head and arms are less detailed.

"The fact that the is not totally realistic shows the intent was to produce a symbolic image of a woman linked to fecundity," Paris said.

Around 100 such figures have been found in Europe, mostly in Russia and central Europe, including around 15 in France, most of them discovered in the southwest.

Explore further: Fragment of Ice Age ivory lion gets its head back

Related Stories

Fragment of Ice Age ivory lion gets its head back

July 31, 2014

Archaeologists from the University of Tübingen have found an ancient fragment of ivory belonging to a 40,000 year old animal figurine. Both pieces were found in the Vogelherd Cave in southwestern Germany, which has yielded ...

Five pharaonic statue heads found in Egypt

November 17, 2013

A team of Egyptian and French archaeologists have found five heads of royal statues from the pharaonic era, officials from the antiquities ministry said on Saturday.

Tomb raiders spoil Philippine archaeological find

September 21, 2012

Philippine archaeologists said Friday they had discovered a thousand-year old cemetery of rock coffins in a rainforest, but that tomb-raiders had found it decades earlier and stolen precious artefacts.

Subway work in Greece unearths ancient gold wreath

January 25, 2013

Excavation work during construction of a new subway network in Greece's second largest city has discovered an ancient wreath made of gold that was buried with a woman some 2,300 years ago.

Dig finds statue pieces in pharaonic temple ruins

December 16, 2010

Archaeologists have found fragments of a statue of an ancient god and a pharaoh in a site that once housed ancient Egypt's largest funerary temple, the antiquities council said on Thursday.

Recommended for you

Preventing chemical weapons as sciences converge

November 15, 2018

Alarming examples of the dangers from chemical weapons have been seen recently in the use of industrial chemicals and the nerve agent sarin against civilians in Syria, and in the targeted assassination operations using VX ...

42 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Going
5 / 5 (11) Nov 27, 2014
Fantastic find. Well done to whoever realized the fragments formed a whole.
katesisco
1.3 / 5 (12) Nov 27, 2014
Kudos to discoverers. As for the unrealistic depiction, perhaps not so much. Catastrophic environmental upheaval releasing large amounts of earth gases, radon, methane, etc. disrupting ocean life may have forced former sea food eaters to eating meat. Pregnant people relying on meat develop these descrbed physical afflictions making a pregnancy harder to carry to term. Which would provoke greater meat feeding to create better health, which would make successful term pregnancy even rarer, leading to a cult of fertility goddesses.
Eddy Courant
1 / 5 (7) Nov 27, 2014
Hefner's Great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great great grandfather did this?
rocket77777
1.5 / 5 (8) Nov 27, 2014
That's gaia, mother nature/fertility god before civilization.
Sumer cradle of civilization was the origin of the empire structure and formal massively structured religion. Formula was elite using a story(lie) to gain from others. Structure was copied over and over again with various changes over time and location.
Old Jews were Polytheist and believed in few god. One of sect was asherah(mother nature, tree of life, asherah pole,menorah) and female figurine. Remember calf icon? It was other god and moses genocides those went back. Eventually YHWH(god of moses) sect dominated and decided they are the only one. Jesus is revival of asherah sect with cross being asherah pole replacement and mary statue. You can see difference between old tes
fabb4eyes
3 / 5 (6) Nov 27, 2014
Um, the limestone is 23000 years old? But when was the statue made? Huh?
kmurphy0124
5 / 5 (7) Nov 27, 2014
Hey Rocket...Sumer was only some 6000 years ago...this artifact is 23,000 year ago...hence NO Sumer and you assertion to the goddess has no relevance to anything you are talking about. Despite the goddess association, there is no viable connection that any real archaeologist would make. Also the "Old Jews" were polytheists just like everyone else and did not embrace monotheism until after circa 1500 BC.
JM_1234321
1.4 / 5 (10) Nov 27, 2014
Porn; Not "goddess."

Looks like a stool.

...German porn.

TechnoCreed
4.8 / 5 (18) Nov 27, 2014
Um, the limestone is 23000 years old? But when was the statue made? Huh?
Carbon 14 is an isotope that is created in the atmosphere and is easily absorbed by living cells trough the food chain. It is not found inside inert rocks.
To carbon date this object means to analyse the organic compounds left by what was once living cells in the pits of the carving. Not the limestone itself.
Read this; it is really easy to understand http://www.c14dat...int.html
kentbeaner
Nov 28, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
kentbeaner
Nov 28, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
redinguy2
1 / 5 (7) Nov 28, 2014
The stone is 23,000 years old...not the carving. And they really aren't sure how old the stone is...Carbon-14 is not an accurate tool...even the designor said so and, it can be calibrated which makes it a geologist or scientist friend to get the free grant. The anti-biblical fools are now seeing people walikg on mars, faces in the dirt...animals...helmuts...they are all rocks. lol
redinguy2
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 28, 2014
kent-Are you on drugs? Christ didn't even come until 33 C.E. which is 1981 years ago.
BounceGodzilla
1 / 5 (1) Nov 28, 2014
If you think this is remarkable, you should check out the book Forbidden Archeology!
Faux Science Slayer
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 28, 2014
Carbon dating has a number of error modes, including the assumption that N14 > C14 conversion is constant over time and that NO other sources of non atmospheric Carbon are in the organic food chain. The half live of C14 is ~5000 years, so extrapolating to 23,000 years is beyond reasonable prediction with out mentioning 'error' factor. For more on flawed proxy science see....

"New! Amazing! Wrongco Proxy Crock!" and "Proxy Crock Memo" at CanadaFreePress.
Top Taciturn
1 / 5 (3) Nov 28, 2014
Twenty Three Thousand years ago Renancourt, France, did not exist. It was inhabited by wild beasts of the field.
Top Taciturn
3.8 / 5 (4) Nov 28, 2014
That photo does not do Venus any great favors. It looks more like those raw hide doggy chewies sold in most markets.
fabb4eyes
1 / 5 (5) Nov 28, 2014
The living carbon material used to date the statue could be human waste as the statue is obviously in the shape of a marital aid. This proves,that there was good sex in marriage as far back as 23k years ago. Wedded bliss of our henpecked ancestors, guys. I love science so much. I recently read that Isaac Newton invented gravity for the high gravity beer. He loved science too. I love high gravity beer. I love sex in a loving marriage that includes using marital aids in the shape of the love goddess Venus. Science, sex, and suds, oh my. Science, and sex, and suds, oh my. Science and sex and suds, oh my......

jdmckelvey2004
3.3 / 5 (3) Nov 28, 2014
May be an interesting find, but the conclusions are way beyond reasonable and are not scientific. The dating method is not valid. Wouldn't there be carbon traces on this piece from the dead organisms of the soil? There is no way to know the carbon source was human for the dating so the date it was carved can't be determined.
vernon_jackson
1 / 5 (1) Nov 28, 2014
strange it was my impression carbon 14 dating didn't work on rock :-/
big-ben-not-the-bell
not rated yet Nov 28, 2014
I'd like to see it from all angles. And, with a clearer picture of the head. This may be the only angle that remotely resembles anything.
kcarr70
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 28, 2014
I yield to greater minds, but I'm just curious.

If Venus was a Roman goddess and the Roman civilization came into existence in approximately 300-500 BC; how could this statue be 23,000 years old or, how could it be Venus?
Jeannie-D
5 / 5 (4) Nov 28, 2014
There have been other limestone female figurines shaped much like the figure found and reported in this article. I believe the first such figure found was ultimately named "Venus of Willendorf." It was unearthed during an archaeological investigation in Austria near Willendorf. The age of that figurine (which was in much better condition than the one reported in this article) was determined to be between 28,000 - 25,000 BCE (Before the Current Era) based on where it was located in the stratigraphy (layers of earth) being excavated and other Paleolithic artifacts found nearby during the excavation.
Jeannie-D
5 / 5 (4) Nov 28, 2014
Forgot to add when the "Venus of Willendorf" figurine was discovered: 1908.
TechnoCreed
5 / 5 (9) Nov 28, 2014
I yield to greater minds, but I'm just curious.

If Venus was a Roman goddess and the Roman civilization came into existence in approximately 300-500 BC; how could this statue be 23,000 years old or, how could it be Venus?
Venus is just a generic name for these common figurines of the upper paleolithic. http://en.wikiped...igurines
BSD
5 / 5 (3) Nov 28, 2014
kent-Are you on drugs? Christ didn't even come until 33 C.E. which is 1981 years ago.


kentbeaner is an example of someone who's brain has suffered atrophy through reading religious bullshit.

It is remarkable that so much diarrhoea can flow out of kentbeaner's brain stem and end up in print like that.
wparalegal26
5 / 5 (2) Nov 28, 2014
They called her "Venus" because "Venus" is the most commonly-known name connected to fertility goddesses. Her name could have been "Sheila," for all we know. And there has probably been a form of fertility-goddess worship since before homo sapiens left the Oldevai Gorge, or at least since agriculture was invented, so we are talking at least 27,000 years.
jwozniak
5 / 5 (4) Nov 28, 2014
Amazing that material so easily dissolved in water, particular mineral-laden water, survived so long! The use of Carbon-14 dating implies that other artifacts were found along with the effigy; can't wait to read the complete article!
mysticeyezz
1 / 5 (1) Nov 28, 2014
"it shows a woman with big breasts and buttocks" proves Sir Mix-a-lot has a time machine and has been influencing pop culture for 23,000 years!
Why_
3 / 5 (2) Nov 29, 2014
Yeah, slight problem. You cannot carbon date rock. You can only carbon date things that have lived. "Carbon-14 dating of organic material found at the site showed the statue to be 23,000 years old." So, they carbon dated stuff around it, and decided that this thing belonged "there"... maybe someone dropped the thing 350 years ago... who knows.
automaticsteam
1 / 5 (5) Nov 29, 2014
Carbon 14 dating is not dependable.
It can never be dependable.
Sometimes not even close.
Being limestone, and of this caliber - 6000 years or so.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (8) Nov 29, 2014
@Faux SS: Carbon dating is reliable up to about 50 ky before present, and everyone can google that fact up in 10 s:

"Radiocarbon dating is generally limited to dating samples no more than 50,000 years old, as samples older than that have insufficient 14 C to be measurable. ... Radiocarbon dates are generally presented with a range of one standard deviation ... To produce a curve that can be used to relate calendar years to radiocarbon years, a sequence of securely dated samples is needed which can be tested to determine their radiocarbon age. ... for example, a stratified tephra sequence in New Zealand, known to predate human colonization of the islands, has been dated to 1314 AD ± 12 years by wiggle-matching.[65][ http://en.wikiped...iability ]

So the calender dating errors are on the order of ~ 1 %. That is not as good as when we radiologically date the Earth or the age of the universe at ~0.1 % error, but when we have several clocks.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (8) Nov 29, 2014
Nice find, since it ties in with a lot of similarly old "venuses".

@redinguy: You appear to be as confused as kentbeaner, as you seem to propose that magical agencies and mythical persons are real. They are not, as shown already by thermodynamics on the former (that is how we know street magicians are always using tricks) and history on the latter as we find that generally religious myth personas are not historical persons. We have historical evidence that JC existed (Julius Caesar), but not the abrahamistic myth 'founder' despite being concurrent in time and space.

Identified myth founders appears first after the printing press makes writing general. Then Smith, Blavatsky, Steiner, Hubbard, Moon et al appears, starting out as less successful con men until they happen to hit on the ultimate con (religion).

Mostly, we are interested in science here, not erroneous magic or myth.
fabb4eyes
1 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2014
Why can't they carbon date something that we know exactly how old it is? Like those Ancient Greek statues, or something. Like a renaissance object, or something from jolly old England, where they wrote it all down, and there can be no question of the age? Why does it always have to be some vague description of carbon dating? Why? Are we monkeys who can't discern real news from paparazzi? Tabloid science? Physic.org should have editors that communicate clearly these reports. Now look what we've got here: a bunch of trolls stinking up the thread with total nonsense. One clown even actually attacked another commenter. Why? The report says that the artifact was carbon dated, not that it was found in a layer of 23k year old other stuff. Dang it! Confound it! Dad blame it! Hong Kong Phooey!!! Even Einstein had to face physics-challenged nitwits who just couldn't fathom his theories. Imagine trolling Relativity. "Sure. Gravity and acceleration are the same thing. Sure."
tim_webb12
1.7 / 5 (6) Nov 29, 2014
Carbon dating is fraught with difficulties. Frequently, samples give very different readings depending on which part of the object you subject to the technique. It is also well known that labs tend to give estimates according to the requirements of the researchers.
Sad, but true.
Wrt the dating of rocks, U-Pb ratios are frequently used; again, there is a disparity between Pb levels and the amounts of He in the sample; the latter tends to indicate that specimens are orders of magnitude younger than commonly held.
Tjorborn himself is very confused. He should realise that "the Abrahamistic myth founder" was on earth long after Abraham; although of course He makes the important caveat, "Before Abraham was, I am".
At this, the Pharisees, much as Torbjorn, "Took up stones to cast at him".
Perhaps he might like to read Psalm 22, and make a wild guess as to Who it is about; and how He managed to incorporate himself into a writing which appeared 1000 years before His incarnation.
fabb4eyes
1 / 5 (2) Nov 29, 2014
And isn't time itself a variable?
TechnoCreed
5 / 5 (6) Nov 29, 2014
And isn't time itself a variable?

Look at it this way;
if two identical clocks are separated vertically by 1 km near the surface of Earth, the higher clock emits about three more second-ticks than the lower one in a million years.
This quote comes from page 1630 of the following link: http://tf.boulder...2447.pdf
So if you could instantly create two similar objects and bury one at the bottom of a small 1km (.6 mile) high mountain the other at the top, after 23000 years the object at the bottom of the mountain would be a whopping 69 microsecond older. So yeah time is a variable ;-)
fabb4eyes
5 / 5 (1) Nov 29, 2014
Einstein and a friend were walking one morning in the hills above their town when the friend noticed that it was noon, informed by the clock tower in the town. Einstein recalled that he realized that lunch would occur sooner for the people in town, nearest the tower, because he had to walk all the way down into town to get his lunch. Then, he realized that he could make all of his formulas work if he plugged in a variable for time. Time passes differently for each observer. What if there wasn't a clock tower? Time is a construct. It requires an observer. And time passes differently for each different observer. I don't know what that means. Now I'm frightened and want my mommy.
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (6) Nov 30, 2014
@tim_webb:

"Carbon dating is fraught with difficulties." But it is also very precise, when the difficulties are resolved. Unless you have a specific problem, the dating is more than acceptable.

"there is a disparity between Pb levels and the amounts of He in the sample; the latter tends to indicate that specimens are orders of magnitude younger than commonly held."

The isotope 4He has many radioactive series as sources, and the lack of encapsulation is why U-Pb is a nice. Again, U-Pb dating is very precise (see the age of the Earth!) and unless you have a specific problem the dating is more than acceptable. Besides, U-Pb isochron dating circumvent such constraints altogether. [ http://en.wikiped...d_dating ]

You seem to be a troll, because you don't recognize that the reported science is done with useful methods but go on to post irrelevant complaints.

[tbctd]
Torbjorn_Larsson_OM
5 / 5 (6) Nov 30, 2014
[ctd]

So I intend this to be my first and last response to you, responding only because you mentioned my name and there is a slim chance you are not trolling.

"Tjorborn himself is very confused. He should realise that "the Abrahamistic myth founder" was on earth long after Abraham".

Now you are repeating the errors of the confused creationists/religionists, you are trying to claim without evidence that a myth has anything to do with facts. "Abraham" is not a historical person, "the Pharisees" is not a historically identified group. If they were, you would have evidence.

And then you compound the idiocy by citing the myth and reifying the magical agency for which we have much evidence against, none for. Citing magic myths, on a science site.

Well, at least we see for the nth time that religionists have no morals but troll science with errors and irrelevancies, and can't recognize the difference from them pulling something out of their ass and looking at unsullied fact.
BSD
5 / 5 (7) Nov 30, 2014
The stone is 23,000 years old...not the carving. And they really aren't sure how old the stone is...Carbon-14 is not an accurate tool...even the designor said so and, it can be calibrated which makes it a geologist or scientist friend to get the free grant. The anti-biblical fools are now seeing people walikg on mars, faces in the dirt...animals...helmuts...they are all rocks. lol


And biblical fools see christ's face on a piece of cloth and the virgin mary on walls. There is no bigger bullshit than religion.

If there is bullshit around, religious types are the ones peddling it.
maggiros
5 / 5 (5) Nov 30, 2014
It doesn't say the rock is that old. It says "Carbon-14 dating of organic material found at the site showed the statue to be 23,000 years old." Organic material, not the rock.
tadchem
1 / 5 (2) Dec 02, 2014
I can guess where that paleolithic d!ldo has been.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.