Archaeologists have found Stone Age cave art in Germany for the first time, including images of nude women engraved onto a wall in a cave said to have phallic-shaped rock formations.
The discovery of the erotic engravings in a cave near the southern German city of Bamberg follows decades of searching, a spokeswoman for the Bavarian State Office for Historical Preservation told Agence France-Presse.
German weekly Die Zeit reports that the cave engravings are believed to be around 12,000 years old, making them the first Stone Age artworks ever found in the country.
They include depictions of women’s bodies and unidentifiable symbols, with the artists appearing to have drawn inspiration from rock formations in the cave resembling breasts and penises, the spokeswoman, Beate Zarges, told AFP.
Geologist and archaeologist Bernhard Haeck, who is part of the team that discovered the erotic cave art, said the 16-foot-long cave chamber may have been used for fertility rituals.
Researchers are continuing to study the erotic cave engravings, and the site is currently closed to the public.
In 2008, a voluptuous Venus carving was found buried 10 feet beneath a cave floor in southwest Germany.
The two-and-a-half-inch statuette, carved from a mammoth’s tusk, is said to be more than 35,000 years old, making it one of the oldest examples of figurative art.
The Venus of Hohle Fels — also known as the Venus of Schelklingen — depicts a naked woman with large breasts, a swollen belly and an enlarged vulva.
The oldest known art objects were found at a cave site in South Africa and dated to about 75,000 years ago.