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VENUS of Kostënki

Updated: Aug 16, 2023


24.500-21..000 BCE, Kostenki, Russia


Venusfigurines of Kostënki

  • The figurines of Venus from Kostënki are actually a larger number of figurines

  • they are among the oldest known examples of prehistoric sculpture in Russia

  • material: mostly ivory

  • site: Kostënki

  • excavations: 1879 bis 1934

  • from the Gravettien age (29 000-22 000 v. Chr.)

  • Special feature: Only the Western Venus figurines display a vulva in detail, while the abdominal fold of the Venuses of the Kostenki I,1-Avdeevo-culture hides the vulva from view.


Most famous Venus of Kostënki

The most famous Kostënki venus is the ivory carving known as "number 3' from site 'Kostënki 1"



She shows the pregnancy characteristic of many statues of this type, with round buttocks and full breasts. In the back view it can be seen that she wears a kind of belt.





Kostënki as a site

Kostënki is a very important Paleolithic site on the Don River in Russia. It was a settlement which contained figures, dwellings made of mammoth bones, and many flint tools and bone implements. Kostënki is not actually a single site but really an area of 20 site locations in the regions of the villages of Kostenki and Borshevo, all dating to the Paleolithic.


One of the significant innovations of the Gravettian includes spacious sites or base camps with organized activity areas. Kostënki was repeatedly occupied by hunters and gatherers.


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