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Article updated: 2/5/2013 12:52 PM

British Museum puts art from the Ice Age on show

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Visitors look at sculptures of pregnant women on display in an exhibition 'Ice Age Art : arrival of the modern mind' at the British Museum in London.

Associated Press

A sculpture of an adult female bison worked from a large piece of mammoth tusk dates at least 21,000 years old, discovered at Zaraysk, Osetr Valley, Russia.

Associated Press

A mammoth ivory sculpture depicts a man with a lion's head, discovered at Stadel Cave, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, dates to around 40,000 years ago.

Associated Press

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A visitor looks at a small male figure sculptured from a large mammoth tusk that dates around 27,000 years ago, discovered at Brno, Moravia, Czech Republic next to a skeleton of a man.

Associated Press

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The art world loves hype. Works are touted as the biggest, the rarest, the most expensive. Even in an age of superlatives, the British Museum has something special -- the oldest known figurative art in the world. The artworks on display in the new exhibition "Ice Age Art" are so old that many are carved from the tusks of woolly mammoths. But it's not just their age that may surprise visitors. It's their artistry.
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    • Visitors look at sculptures of pregnant women on display in an exhibition 'Ice Age Art : arrival of the modern mind' at the British Museum in London.
    • A sculpture of an adult female bison worked from a large piece of mammoth tusk dates at least 21,000 years old, discovered at Zaraysk, Osetr Valley, Russia.
    • A mammoth ivory sculpture depicts a man with a lionís head, discovered at Stadel Cave, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, dates to around 40,000 years ago.
    • A visitor looks at a small male figure sculptured from a large mammoth tusk that dates around 27,000 years ago, discovered at Brno, Moravia, Czech Republic next to a skeleton of a man.
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