Venus of Willendorf

The Venus of Willendorf is a Venusfigurine from the Upper Palaeolithic, the Gravettian, and can be seen as Austria's most famous treasure piece today at the Natural History Museum in Vienna.

The representation is so realistic that an invention is considered as excluded. Some rests of  paint that remain show, that the sculpture was originally covered with red ocher.

So-called "venus figurines", female nudes standing upright, designed to be stuck in the ground, and then covered with red ochre, were made as an unbroken artistic and symbolic tradition of the Eurasian continent that lastet for at least 30.000 years (between 40.000 B.C-10.000 B.C).

 

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when? about 25,000 BC - Gravettian ................ where? Willendorf - Wachau, Austria

how?

Venus figures from the Kostenki - Borshevo region on the Don River  23 000 - 21 000 BC Limestone
Venus figures from the Kostenki - Borshevo region on the Don River 23 000 - 21 000 BC Limestone

Meanwhile over 200 pieces of similar female idols of limestone, soapstone or ivory, even made of clay, were found over a 3000 km-wide distribution area from Europe to Siberia. Comparable findings in the nearby area are the Venus of Kostenki of the Borshevo region, the Venus of Dolni Věstonie (Moravia) or the Venus of Moravany of Moravany nad Váhom in Slovakia.

Today, it is believed that there was a uniform religious imagination during the late phase of the Gravettian and before the peak of the last ice age. At that time, there was already serious shortage of food and the population density gradually declined. At the end of this phase, 20,000 years ago, Central Europe had been left almost completely abandoned from Homo sapiens.

Venus of Dolní Věstonice

The Venus of Dolní Věstonice is a Venus figurine, a ceramic statuette of a nude female figure dated to 29,000–25,000 BCE (Gravettian), which was found at a Paleolithic site in the Moravian basin south of Brno.

 

This figurine, together with a few others from nearby locations, is the oldest known ceramic article in the world

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So-called "venus figurines", female nudes standing upright, designed to be stuck in the ground, and then covered with red ochre, were made as an unbroken artistic and symbolic tradition of the Eurasian continent that lastet for at least 30.000 years (between 40.000 B.C-10.000 B.C).

 

(Red ochre is otherwise known from Paleolithic burials and have been understood to symbolise rebirth of some kind. People were usually buried in fetal position in a rounded grave.)

 

The tradition stretched from Portugal in the West to Siberian Lake Baikal in the East, and appears to have continued into the Neolithic, where the figurines often appear in shrines and temples, and must be understood as goddesses.

 

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