The Paleolithic beauty carved in woolly mammoth tusk has similarities to those uncovered in Siberia, but was found thousands of kilometres away.
The 5 centimetre tall prehistoric naked figurine has seen archeologists turn poetic in their descriptions.
Dr Konstantin Gavrilov, who led the expedition that found it, compared it to Rembrandt’s fullsome image of Danae from Greek mythology.
‘This statuette pictures a rather portly woman, but it looks fantastically delicate, probably due to the long and thin legs,’ enthused the scientist. ‘The figurine with slightly bended legs recalls Danae, as painted by the New Age artists.’
Others likened the striking rear view of the Venus to a more modern icon – Kim Kardashian.
It appeared to depict a ‘cult of fertility’, said Dr Gavrilov, but then added this was not possible since it predated the existence of agriculture.
The exceptionally rare ‘Venus’ is made from ‘a mammoth tusk and it portrays a fat, maybe pregnant woman, with a big belly and bust. Part of the bust and belly has peeled off along a natural crack in the tusk. The figurine was found near large limestone layers and parts of mammoth bones that were painted with a mineral sienna paint.
‘Most likely, the statuette was put next to the bones on the ground rather than ‘buried’ like other ‘Venuses’.’
Such prehistoric statuettes are ‘ceremonial’ and ‘ritual’ objects, Dr Gavrilov said.
Similar examples have been found in Siberia, notably close to the Angara River near Lake Baikal, but the most recent analysis suggested these were – in fact – clothed, contrary to earlier examinations, and evidently unlike the new find from the Khotylyovo-2 site in Bryansk region.
Archeologists have been exploring the site since 1993.
Radiocarbon analysis suggests tribes of hunters and gatherers lived there 21,000 to 24,000 years ago.
Scientists have found numerous bones of mammoths, bison, also many flint stones.
‘This statuette (dates) to the middle age period of the Upper Paleolithic time, and the cultural lay it belongs to has radiocarbon date of 23,000 years ago.’