Sort order:  

Status: 1 Treffer   •   Seite 1 von 1   •   10 Artikel pro Seite

2019-04-11 08:15:12   •   ID: 2093

Reading the Paleolithic Femal Body

Figure 1
This is a highly stylized, “fork-shaped” female body representation from Dolni Vestonice I with an longitudinal incision in the lower part of the “trunk” indicating a vulva (facsimile, courteously by the Kirchhoff Collection; Göttingen).

In 1924 Absolon began the excavations near the village of Dolní Vestonice, also known by its German name Unter-Wisternitz, located at the foot of the Pavlov Hills in South Moravia in the present Czech Republic.

Previous surface finds in hollow roads cross-cutting the loessic slopes had indicated the presence of Upper Palaeolithic occupation. After a successful first year, the excavations continued in 1925 and ended with the finding of the famous "Venus" of Dolni Vestonice, a ceramic statuette of a nude female figure dated to the Pavlovian.

The artifact, shown in this post, was found at Dolni Vestonice I during the 1935-37 campaigns. It was made of mammoth ivory and perforated at the top, so it may have been worn as a pendant.

Unfortunately we lack of further contextual informations. A similar roughly contemporaneous piece is known from the Predmost Pavlovian.

Stylization and "pars-pro-toto" ivory carvings of the woman’s body are common at Dolní Věstonice I.

Note the external links for the other objects. One of the most famous artifacts from the site is a female representation in the form of the rod with breasts, which on the other hand could also a representation of the male genital, and a set of 8 highly stylized beads showing female breasts of various sizes ( 9 - 32 mm), probably worn as a single necklace.

Despite its reputation for openness to research on sexuality, anthropology as a discipline has only reluctantly supported such work. Anthropological research and theory developed very slowly maybe because sex is the most private of activities and often carries a high emotional charge and therefore it is peculiarly difficult to investigate.

Naive Projections of modern Sexuality to Palaeolithic times prevail since the beginning of Prehistoric research- see here 1418 . Absolon saw the stylized female representations from the Pavlovian Mega- sites just as Playmates or as "diluvial plastic pornography" (Absolon 1949).

When the so called "Hohle Fels Venus", dated to ca. 35 k.a. BP was uncovered 10 years ago at a Swabian cave, the statement of Sir Mellars, an eminent British Prehistorian, was remarkable:

"with an exaggeration of sexual characteristics (large, projecting breasts, a greatly enlarged and explicit vulva, and bloated belly and thighs) that by twenty-first-century standards could be seen as bordering on the pornographic" Mellars 2009).

Such remarks show that the common "scientific" view of the female Paleolithic Body is under-theorized at least, or at worst just the personal view of some influential old white man.

Of course we speak about sexuality when talking about these artifacts (contra Chang and Novel), but not in the naive "biologic" sense of P. Mellars et al.

Sexuality is more than invariable “nature”, instead sexuality includes numerous ways in which sex and gender is enacted, enjoyed, experienced and socially organized and construed in various cultures.

Paleolithic sexuality was certainly constructed very different, even strange for the modern observer, compared with sexuality of the Western World during the beginning of the 21th century.