‘Want to come up to my cave and see my etchings?’

Researchers in Germany have discovered Stone Age cave art in the country for the first time including carvings of nude women that may have been used in fertility rites, officials said on Wednesday.

Archaeologists working for the Bavarian State Office for Historical Preservation came upon the primitive engravings in a cave near the southern city of Bamberg after decades of searching, spokesperson, Beate Zarges, for the authority said.

Zarges confirmed a report to appear in the weekly newspaper Die Zeit that the engravings were believed to be around 12 000 years old, which would make them the first Stone Age artwork ever found in Germany.

“They include schematic depictions of women’s bodies and unidentifiable symbols, among other things,” she said.

The ancient artists appear to have taken their inspiration for the erotic images from rock formations in the caves resembling breasts and penises and then carved the images in the walls of the cave, Zarges said.

Die Zeit quoted geologist and archaeologist Bernhard Haeck, a member of the discovery team, as saying that the 5m-long chamber in the cave may have been used for fertility rituals.

“It is a place full of magic,” he said.

Zarges said the examination of the site was still ongoing and thus closed to the public.

The world’s oldest cave paintings are believed to be the Chauvet Pont d’Arc murals in southern France, the subject of German director Werner Herzog’s most recent documentary, Cave of Forgotten Dreams.

The artwork is thought to be more than 30 000 years old. — AFP

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

‘It takes two to tango’: The private sector must ’fess...

During a webinar on Wednesday, the group chief executive of EOH, Stephen van Coller, called private sector participation in the Zondo commission into state capture ‘disappointing’

Maasai land in Tanzania earmarked for UAE royals

Protracted effort by authorities to evict the pastoralists in Loliondo for safari tourism has led to violent confrontation

A stylish way to pay

Steve Jobs said, “The best way to create value in the 21st century is to connect creativity with technology”. A fact leading African tech...

South Africa among countries where debt collection is most difficult

Some small to medium businesses are taking as long as 180 days to settle debts, according to an assessment by international insurer Allianz Trade
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×