[meteorite-list] age of Willendorf venus & moldavite level

From: marco.langbroek_at_wanadoo.nl <marco.langbroek_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 10:01:36 2004
Message-ID: <1025255977.3d1c2a295e3a5_at_webmail3.wanadoo.nl>

Tracy Latimer wrote:

> So as long ago as the Venus of Willendorf was made
> (50k years?) there were meteorite collectors ...

Bernd wrote:

> The article by Koeberl et al. says:
>" ... has an age of about 30 000 years .."
> Reference:
> KOEBERL CH. et al. (1988) Moldavites from
> Austria (Meteoritics 23-4, 1988, 325-332).

Hi Tracy, Bernd, list,

There are no radiocarbon dates from the immediate vincinity of the venus
figurine. But a mammoth scapula and a long bone from the level with the venus
and moldavites (level 9) from the 1927 excavation has yielded 14C ages of 23180
+- 120 bp (scapula) and 24910 +- 150 bp (long bone). These dates are a bit
suspect as the bones have undergone treatment for conservation etc. Most
notably the mammoth bone date is thought to be slightly too young.

In 1993, a new section was constructed at Willendorf, and samples of bone and
charcoal taken for new radiocarbon dating. Level 9 is absent from that section,
but six dates obtained for the underlying level 8 yield an average age of about
25300 bp. This means level 9 with the venus and moldavites should be younger
than this age (there is also a moldavite from the older level 7 however).

Note that these are uncalibrated radiocarbon dates. Due to several reasons,
including variations in atmospheric 14C content over time, these do not equal
calendar dates. In calendar years, the quoted date should probably be revised
to a somewhat older age. So between 25 and 30 kyr in true years, is a good
approximation I guess.

The people from the Gravettian of central Europe did some fascinating things.
For example, they made figurines (anthropomorph and animals) from wet clay,
which they threw into the fire apparently to create the effect of them
exploding into pieces due to the heat. One can just wonder with what idea in
mind they collected these moldavite pieces, if the shards are not just waste
from flaking moldavites.

- Marco


Haesaerts P., Damblon P., Bachner M. & Trnka G., 1996: revised stratigraphy and
chronology of the Willendorf II sequence, lower Austria. Archaeologia Austriaca
80, p. 25-42.

Verpoorte, Alexander, 2001: Places of art, traces of fire. A contextual
approach to anthropomorphic figurines in the Pavlovian (central Europe, 29-24
kyr BP). Archaeological Studies Leiden University 8 / Dolnov&#277;stonické Studie 6,


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Received on Fri 28 Jun 2002 05:19:37 AM PDT

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