Venus figurines

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Venus figurines is an umbrella term for a number of prehistoric items, mostly in statuette form, of obese or heavily pregnant women from the Aurignacian or Gravettian period of the upper Palaeolithic, found in Europe. They are among the oldest ceramics known. Like many such artifacts, their true cultural meaning may never be known; however, given that at the time of their construction human society would not have the same tendency towards obesity as it has today (as foodstuffs, particularly those which are fattening, would have been scarce as farming had not yet been invented), they may be emblems of security and success, fertility icons, or even direct representations of various goddesses themselves.

Two much older finds are also often categorized as Venus figurines - the Venus of Berekhet Ram, dating to between 800,000 and 233,000 BCE, and the Venus of Tan-Tan, which dates to between 500,000 and 300,000 BCE, the Middle Acheulean period. Found in Asia and Africa respectively, and were made of stone rather than ceramic. Both pieces are very rough, and may have been given approximate human form by natural geological processes. However, the Venus of Berekhet Ram has striations suggesting human stone tool-work, and the Venus of Tan-Tan bears evidence of having been painted; "a greasy substance" on the stone's surface has been shown to contain iron and manganese and indicates that it was decorated by someone and used as a figurine, regardless of how it may have been formed. [1] (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3047383.stm)

Examples of Venus figurines include:

See also

External links


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