Venus of Willendorf  

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Art of the Upper Paleolithic

The Venus of Willendorf, also known as the Woman of Willendorf, is an 4 3/8 inches high statuette of a female figure estimated to have been made between 24,000 BC – 22,000 BC. It was discovered in 1908 by archaeologist Josef Szombathy at a paleolithic site near Willendorf, a village in Lower Austria near the city of Krems. It is carved from an oolitic limestone that is not local to the area, and tinted with red ochre.

Since this figure's discovery and naming, several similar statuettes and other forms of art have been discovered. They are collectively referred to as Venus figurines, although they pre-date the mythological figure of Venus by millennia.

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