World's Oldest Portrait Has Been Around for 26,000 Years

The portrait is roughly the size of a thumb, depicts a woman's face

By Laura Sinpetru on January 26th, 2013 11:46 GMT

The picture above shows the world's oldest portrait, which is believed to have been around for roughly 26,000 years. The portrait is set to soon go on display at the British Museum in London, and odds are quite a lot of people will stop by just to have one quick glance at it.

Researchers explain that this ancient portrait depicts a woman, and that the artist who created it back in ancient times did so by carving a fragment of a tusk belonging to a woolly mammoth.

Given the fact that this portrait is roughly the size of a thumb, one can only assume that mammoth tusks were rather difficult to come by and therefore never wasted on trivial things such as art.

Daily Mail explains that the carving was created at some point during the last Ice Age with the help of stone tools. Furthermore, the artists who carved it did so in what is now Moravia in the Czech Republic.

“Ms Cook told the Guardian of the Moravian portrait: 'The reason we say it is a portrait is because she has absolutely individual characteristics. She has one beautifully engraved eye; on the other, the lid comes just over and there's just a slit. Perhaps she had a stroke, or a palsy, or was injured in some way,” explained Jill Cook, museum curator.
The world's oldest portrait dates back to 26,000 years ago (click to see full image)
   The world's oldest portrait dates back to 26,000 years ago (click to see full image)
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