Erotic art seems like a modern invention, something that must have come after the prude Victorian days. But in fact, it’s far older than that. It’s even older than ancient Indian and Greek civilizations, who made what many people think of as the original erotic art. In fact, it’s older than kingdoms, money and cities.
The oldest piece of sexy art was made about 11,000 years ago, just as humans were starting to invent agriculture. It’s a carved stone object known as the “Ain Sakhri Lovers,” and is the oldest known depiction, in any art form, of two people having sex. In the sculpture, two faceless, genderless figures wrap around each other in the throes of passion. Feel free to look at it again.
Pretty hot, right? In the early 20th century, a Bedouin man found the object in the Ain Sakhri caves near the Israeli city of Bethlehem. The piece made its way to a local museum, where no one thought it particularly significant. Then, in 1933, a French diplomat from Jerusalem named René Neuville happened to come through the museum. He noticed the sexy sculpture and was intrigued, immediately thinking it might be important. He found the Bedouin man, who led him to the caves, which is where the piece got its name. * Continue reading on the next page.