|Archaeologist finds 'oldest porn statue'
Additional pictures and article may be found at
Federal State Museum for Prehistory Dresden
Krysia Diver in Stuttgart
Monday April 4, 2005
Stone-age figurines depicting what could be the oldest pornographic scene in the world have been unearthed in Germany.
Archaeologists have discovered what they believe to be the 7,200-year-old remnants of a man having intercourse with a woman.
The extraordinary find, at an archaeological dig in Saxony, shatters the belief that sex was a taboo subject in that era.
Until now, the oldest representations of sexual scenes were frescos from about 2,000 years ago.
Harald Stäuble of the Archaeological Institute of Saxony, based in Dresden, discovered the 8cm lower half of a man, which has been named Adonis von Zschernitz.
"A unique find," reported Spiegel magazine. "This is the oldest male clay figurine ever discovered in the world."
But the most amazing find came at the dig in Leipzig one month later, when Dr Stäuble found what could be the matching female figurine.
Dr Stäuble, who is due to publish a paper on his findings this year, said: "After finding Adonis, we got the team to sieve every speck of soil for a whole month. We were well rewarded because we then found fragments of a female figurine of the same size."
He added: "Adonis is bent forward and the female figure is bent forward even more.
"There are two ways of looking at this. The first is that they were doing a ritual dance, but the other possibility is that the man and woman were copulating and that he was standing behind her. The copulation option is far more likely, and would make this the oldest representation ever of a pornographic scene."
Until now, there have been discoveries of clay models of women with large breasts and bottoms, which have always been interpreted as connected with fertility. But Adonis was the first figurine that clearly depicted male sexual organs.
"This is such an interesting discovery," said Dr Sträuble, "as these figurines are not stylistic, but realistic. They open up a gateway for historians and anthropologists to discuss whether sex really was a taboo subject in the Stone Age."
To read this article online from the publisher: The Guardian