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The oldest statue in the world, or just an old stone?

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A stone object six centimeters long and about 400 thousand years old was discovered in an excavation in Morocco. According to researchers, this may be the oldest statue in the world.
An expert in prehistoric art told the British BBC network that the stone shows signs indicating that it has been altered by a person. The shape of the stone resembles the shape of a person, and it has grooves that may symbolize a neck, hands and feet. Red spots were also found on the stone, which may be remnants of paint. The oldest figurine found so far was created about 200 thousand years ago. She was found in the Ram Pool in the Golan Heights.

The disputed stone was found in 1999 in an excavation near the city of Tan-Tan in Morocco, a few centimeters away from an ax estimated to be 300 to 500 years old. Its discovery may ignite a heated debate regarding the date of the invention of symbolic thinking in the human race. Until now, the species that lived during this period, including Homo heidelbergensis and Homo erectus, have not been attributed the capacity for symbolic thinking necessary to create art.

Researcher Robert Bedenrick claims in an article in the journal "Current Anthropology" that the general shape of the stone found in Tan-Tan was shaped by natural processes, but according to him the grooves on it were carved by man, using a stone tool. Bernrik even tried to imitate the creation of grooves with a stone hammer, and compared the grooves he created with those found in the stone under a microscope as evidence for his claim. However, other researchers, including Professor Stanley Ambrose from the University of Illinois, reached the opposite conclusions from Bedenrik's own findings, according to which the stone was formed by natural processes. However, Bedenrik points to additional evidence, such as the paint stains: "The stains do not resemble natural corrosion of iron deposits, nor were any signs of pigment found in any other item that I examined in Tan-Tan."

For news at the BBC

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