Venus figurines carbon dating

NEW HISTORIAN - The 12cm statue has been hailed as a Palaeolithic ‘masterpiece’ by archaeologists.

It depicts a woman with unnaturally large breasts and buttocks, although the head and arms are less detailed, the AFP news agency reported.

It is a common impression that it was the Upper Paleolithic male who preferred his ideal woman to be corpulent.

In fact, all types have been found-girlish, slim, graceful, mature, obese, pregnant and even giving birth.

Figurines have been found at Mauern, the Vogelherdhohle and at Nebra, near Halle.

In the Petersfelshohle were found stylized headless figurines with holes drilled into the upper end as though intended for stringing, to be worn as pendants.

So far over a hundred of these female figurines have been found, spread across the entire Ice Age area from the Atlantic to Siberia and datable to the Upper Paleolithic from Aurignacian to Magdalenian.

Made of ivory, bone, limestone, black amber, red ochre or clay, most of these statuettes belong to the portable inventory.

Again thighs and calves are tapered to form a point.Before jumping to any such conclusions, even to the casual observer the Willendorf 'Venus' reveals herself to be extraordinarily obese.This little limestone figurine, 11 cm tall and still bearing the traces of red ochre all over, is so fat that her thighs form rings over the knees, the fat deposits circle her ample midriff from buttock to buttock in a wide flabby welt, while her oversized breasts reach down to the level of the navel.A typical characteristic of many of these figurines are their exaggerated proportions which one interprets almost immediately as portraying advanced stages of pregnancy.From there it is only a short step to see in them representations of fertility, or even fertility goddesses.

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