International Journal of Human Diversity and Evolution
Coverage: 1923-1941 (Vols. I-XIX) & 1962-2019 (Vols. 1-57)
ISSN 0323-1119 (Print)
ISSN 2570-9127 (Online)
Special Issue dedicated to the memory of Doc. Slavomil Vencl is in preparation.
World Archaeological Congres 9

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'Králík M, Novotný V, Oliva M, 2002: Fingerprint on the Venus of Dolní Věstonice I. Anthropologie (Brno) 40, 2: 107-113'.
The Venus of Dolní Věstonice I (Gravettian, 25, 000 B.P.) was discovered on July 13th 1925 in Dolní Věstonice, South Moravia (Czechoslovakia), during Moravian Museum excavations. The figurine, made from fired clay, about 11.5 cm high, represents a woman with a plump figure. More than 75 years after its discovery, a fingerprint on the left side of the figurine back was analyzed. The dimensions of the fingerprint are 3 x 5 mm and it is possible to recognize seven lines. The structure was identified as a negative of human friction skin based on the minutiae, ridge breadth, and other markers. Epidermal ridge breadth correlates with the age during growth period of an individual. We elaborated the original method for age estimation from fingerprint ridge breadth and used it to estimate the age of the fingerprint owner. The ridge breadth varies from 0.34 to 0.43 mm with an average of 0.37 mm. The estimation of age is 11.13 years. With respect to the preciseness and limits of the method the age of the fingerprint maker was somewhere between 7 and 15 years. This estimation is valid if the age/ridge breadth relation in the Paleolithic was similar to the present day one. It is also important to realize that the maker of the fingerprint may not be identical with the creator of the artifact. It is quite hard to believe that such a figurine as the Venus of Dolní Věstonice I could have been a work of beginner or even of a child. However, this approach has great potential to specify social circumstances of ceramics production.
Fingerprint - Venus of Dolní Věstonice I - Gravettian - Epidermal ridge breadth - Age estimation

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