Venus of Tan-Tan  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Venus of Tan-Tan is an alleged artefact found in Morocco. It is 6 centimeters long quartzite rock, and has been interpreted as a depiction of the human form, gender indeterminate and faceless, dated between 300,000 and 500,000 years ago. 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 and its contemporary, the Venus of Berekhat Ram, have been claimed as the earliest representations of the human form.

There is some controversy amongst archaeologists as to its nature and origin. To its discoverer and others, e.g., Robert Bednarik , the object 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 red ochre pigments used by humans to further accentuate the human-like form.

For others, for instance Professor Stanley Ambrose of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, the rock's shape is just the result of natural weathering and erosion, which coincidentally produced a remotely human-like object.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Venus of Tan-Tan" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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