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2019-02-22 11:00:51   •   ID: 2079

The Venus of Draßburg from the late LBK

Figure 1
The Austrian Province of Burgenland, located in the southeast of the small country was formed from parts of the Hungarian counties of Vas, Sopron and Moson following the dictate of the allied Forces after WW-I, the Great War, initiated and finally lost by the Emperor Franz Joseph I, and his German Supporters.

So called "Venus Figurines" and their ideological background during Paleolithic and Neolithic times were already discussed earlier in the Blog: see here 1398 ,here 1399 , here 1418 , here: 1342 , here: 1419 and here 1334

The “Venus of Draßburg” ("Drassburg"), Faksimile, Kirchhoff Collection,University of Göttingen, was discovered in August 1933 during excavations of the Burgenland State Museum, directed by Dr. med. Friedrich Hautmann at the Taborac of Draßburg in a Neolithic settlement pit.

The "Venus "is the 9.5 cm wall piece of a pear-shaped clay pot. On top of this, a stylized female figure with clearly pronounced gender features can be recognized in the technique of scratching and relief.

The vessel shape and human ornamentation are known by parallel findings from the Transdanubian Region and the Carpathian Basin, dating to the Early Neolithic (6-5 k.a. cal BC), especially to the late phase of Linearbandkeramik- the Zseliz/Želiezovce phase.

Beyond the material culture, homogeneous genetic traits were present over this vast area. The emergence and spread of the Central European LBK was recently genetically traced back to the western Carpathian Basin and LBK- populations in Transdanubia.

The common explanations of anthropomorphic items during the Neolithic (Mother Goodness; Fertility Goodness), discussed since many years, are uninspired and in general not helpful in the understanding of societies or religious systems 8000 years ago.

Maybe a modest inductive approach and more material found in future excavations will offer more insights. Therefore I have assembled only some simple observations:

  • Figurines and figural applications on vessels during the Central European LBK are notorious rare and certainly made only under specific and unknown circumstances.

    They do not seem to have been part of "everyday life". While the figural tradition was omnipresent during post-LBK times in the Balkans, it disappeared in the Western Parts of Central Europe

  • Antropomophic figures and anthropomorphic applications on vessels show always a fragmentary nature of the material. Breakage did not only occur along weak points, but appears deliberate.

    Fragmentation and destruction seems to have been an integral part of their use life. The so called Venus of Draßburg remains an unique sexualized expression during the LBK among other figural applications

  • Figurine production during the LBK in Central Europe seems often to be linked to mortuary practices, but also was found in dump pits

  • the only sexualized statuette, depicting a male with erect penis was found in an early LBK dump pit in Zschernitz (Saxony; Germany)

  • Zoomorphic applications mostly depicting cattle or pigs pottery containers also exist, and sometimes human and animal traits were mixed