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article imageBritish museum hosts world's oldest portait

By Tim Sandle     Jan 26, 2013 in Entertainment
London - A 26,000 year-old carving, made on the ivory tusk of a woolly mammoth and representing the face of a person, will shortly be exhibited in London. This is probably the world's oldest portrait.
London's British Museum is host an exhibition called "Ice Age Art: Arrival of the modern mind". One of the highlights of the exhibition will be a carving that was found in the Czech Republic. The carving has been made on the tusk of a woolly mammoth. The long piece of ivory was carved 26,000 years-ago by one of our ancestors and it resembles a portrait of a woman.
The carving is reportedly the oldest ever found which means that it is probably the oldest ever portrait (this is if cave paintings of stick like images of people, which date back much further, are not classed as 'portraits').
The carving, along with other works, shows that our ancestors were quite capable of abstract thinking. Jill Cook, the show's curator, is quoted by New Scientist: "By looking at the oldest European sculptures and drawings we are looking at the deep history of how our brains began to store, transform and communicate ideas as visual images. The exhibition will show that we can recognise and appreciate these images. Even if their messages and intentions are lost to us, the skill and artistry will still astonish the viewer."
The exhibition contains many other finds from the period. According to the museum:
"Created between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago by artists with modern minds like our own, this is a unique opportunity to see the world's oldest known sculptures, drawings and portraits.
These exceptional pieces will be presented alongside modern works by Henry Moore, Mondrian and Matisse, illustrating the fundamental human desire to communicate and make art as a way of understanding ourselves and our place in the world."
The Guardian has an image gallery which displays several of the other interesting archaeological finds from the ice age period.
The exhibition at the British Museum, where the remarkable carving can be seen, begins from February 7 to May 26, 2013.
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