|23 August 2003
7000-year-old clay figure found in Germany
An ancient clay figure of the lower half of a male body believed to date back to the Stone Age has been discovered in eastern Germany, archeologists said. Workers digging for a new gas pipeline outside of Dresden came across the figure, which measures eight centimeters (three inches), said Judith Oexle, an archaeologist for the state of Saxony.
The statue, dubbed the Adonis of Zschernitz, details a male body from the waist to the calves, and is the first such representation of a man to be found in the area, believed to date from 5,000 BCE, Miss Oexle said. Previously only female statues have been known. "We believe that the entire figure originally measured 25 centimeters (10 inches) long," Miss Oexle told reporters in Dresden, adding she believed it symbolized fertility and was created by farmers who settled middle Europe during the Stone Age. "This would force a re-think of Neolithic theory, as until now it was thought only women were seen as fertility symbols." the archaeologist added.
The Adonis also has deliberate cuts along its bottom, which, Miss Oexle said, are not indications of clothing but probably represent tattoos, at these have been seen on other figurines from the period. The statue will go on public display in Dresden next month.
Source: Associated Press, Yahoo! News (22 August 2003), The Daily Telegraph (23 August 2003)
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