The microstructure and the origin of the Venus from Willendorf

Weber, G.W., Lukeneder, A., Harzhauser, M., Mitteroecker, P., Wurm, L., Hollaus, L.-M., Kainz, S., Haack, F., Antl-Weiser, W., Kern, A., 2022. The microstructure and the origin of the Venus from Willendorf. Scientific Reports 12, 2926.


The origin and key details of the making of the ~ 30,000 year old Venus from Willendorf remained a secret since its discovery for more than a hundred years. Based on new micro-computed tomography scans with a resolution of 11.5 µm, our analyses can explain the origin as well as the choice of material and particular surface features. It allowed the identification of internal structure properties and a chronological assignment of the Venus oolite to the Mesozoic. Sampling numerous oolite occurrences ranging ~ 2500 km from France to the Ukraine, we found a strikingly close match for grain size distribution near Lake Garda in the Southern Alps (Italy). This might indicate considerable mobility of Gravettian people and long-time transport of artefacts from South to North by modern human groups before the Last Glacial Maximum.

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