About 7000 years before the French sculptor Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) cast his world-renowned Le Penseur (“The Thinker”) – a nude male sitting on a rock with his chin resting on one hand – the neolithic culture of Hamangia (located in what is present-day Romania and Bulgaria) created its own version of the philosophical intellect. This terracotta figurine, which was excavated in 1956 at the necropolis of Cernavodă in south-east Romania, is believed to be the oldest sculpture which depicts human cognition and introspection. It is unusual for its time as pre-literate art generally just depicted hunting or fertility.
Four-and-a-half inches tall, the Thinker of Cernavodă is seated on a stool with his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands. He is joined by a woman – with huge buttocks. Today, both are kept at a museum in the Romanian city of Constanța.
Featured: The Thinker of Cernavoda by User “三猎”, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons