An artist carved this tiny bird sculpture 13,000 years ago in China

How wonderful to imagine someone so long ago feeling compelled to create this depiction of a bird. Wow. And why? – SA. Whoever the sculptor was, they were highly skilled. Despite the figurine’s small size, there are 68 identifiable worked areas, with traces of 10 different techniques used to work the bone, including flaking, gouging and polishing. The sculpture was also heated to at least 300 °C.

The bird’s intricacy suggests there are older, simpler sculptures that haven’t yet been found, says d’Errico. “This cannot come out of nothing.”

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