The latter type are among the oldest ceramic works yet discovered.
However, no clear consenus exists among scholars as to their cultural significance.
Typically lozenge-shaped, with a wide fat belly tapering to the head and legs, they usually have no arms or feet, or any facial detail.
Furthermore, their abdomen, hips, breasts, thighs, vulva are often deliberately exaggerated. These general characteristics are more marked in earlier examples.
Venus of Hohle Fels (Germany) Date: 38,000-33,000 BCE Material: Mammoth ivory Found in the locality of the Hohlenstein mountain in the Swabian Jura - the site of numerous finds, including the Lion Man of Hohlenstein Stadel and a cache from the Vogelherd cave - see: Ivory Carvings of the Swabian Jura.
Also called the Venus of Schelklingen, the Hohle Fells figurine is the oldest known figurative carving of a female in the history of art.