Top Ten Aurignacian Artifacts

Top Ten Aurignacian Artifacts

       The Aurignacian culture is an archaeological culture of the Upper Paleolithic, located in Europe and southwest Asia. It began about 40,000 to 36,000 years ago and lasted until about 28,000 to 26,000 years ago. The name originates from the type site of Aurignac in the Haute Garonne area of France. The Aurignacian culture is considered by some archaeologists to have co-existed with the Périgordian culture of tool making. The oldest known example of figurative art, the Venus of Hohle Fels, comes from this culture. It was discovered in September 2008 in a cave at Schelklingen in Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany.

  1. Venus of Hohle Fels (38,000-33,000 BC)

           The Venus of Hohle Fels is an Upper Paleolithic Venus figurine found near Schelklingen, Germany. It is dated to between 35,000 and 40,000 years ago, belonging to the early Aurignacian, at the very beginning of the Upper Paleolithic, which is associated with the assumed earliest presence of Homo sapiens (Cro-Magnon) in Europe. It is the oldest undisputed example of Upper Paleolithic art and figurative prehistoric art in general.
    Links: Top Ten Venus Figurines,
  2. The Lion Man (30,000 BC)

           A lion headed figure, first called the lion man, then the lion lady, is an ivory sculpture that is the oldest known zoomorphic (animal-shaped) sculpture in the world and one of the oldest known sculptures in general. The sculpture has also been interpreted as anthropomorphic, giving human characteristics to an animal, although it may have represented a deity. The figurine was determined to be about 32,000 years old by carbon dating material from the same layer in which the sculpture was found. It is associated with the archaeological Aurignacian culture.
    Links: Sculptures, Top 100 European Sculptures, Top Ten Big Cats,,
  3. Vulture Bone Flute (38,000 BC)

           A vulture-bone flute discovered in a European cave is likely the world’s oldest recognizable musical instrument and pushes back humanity’s musical roots, a new study says. Found with fragments of mammoth-ivory flutes, the 40,000-year-old artifact also adds to evidence that music may have given the first European modern humans a strategic advantage over Neanderthals, researchers say. The bone-flute pieces were found in 2008 at Hohle Fels, a Stone Age cave in southern Germany, according to the study, led by archaeologist Nicholas Conard of the University of Tübingen in Germany. With five finger holes and a V-shaped mouthpiece, the almost complete bird-bone flute, made from the naturally hollow wing bone of a griffon vulture, is just 0.3 inch (8 millimeters) wide and was originally about 13 inches (34 centimeters) long.
    Links: Top Ten Historical Instruments, Top Ten Instruments,
  4. Links: Artifacts, Top 100 European Artifacts,