A Venus figurine (Venus statuette) is Upper Paleolithic statuette portraying a woman. Most of them have small heads, wide hips, and legs that taper to a point. Most of them date from the Gravettian period (26,000–21,000 years ago) and have been unearthed in Europe, but others have been found as far away as Siberia, extending their distribution across much of Eurasia, although with many gaps, such as the Mediterranean outside Italy. In total, some 144 such figurines are known virtually all of the modest size, between 3 cm and 40 cm or more in height. They are some of the earliest works of prehistoric art. The original cultural meaning and purpose of these artifacts are not known. It has frequently been suggested that they may have served a ritual or symbolic function.
The Upper Paleolithic Period
First Discovery of Venus Figurine
|Venus of Hohle Fels|
|Country||Swabian Alb, Germany|
|Creation Time||35000-40000 BC|
|Measures||height 6 cm (2.4 in)|
|Current Location||Prehistoric Museum of Blaubeuren|
|Amazing Facts||The figurine was sculpted from a woolly mammoth tusk and it has broken into fragments, of which six have been recovered, with the left arm and shoulder still missing.|
|Venus of Galgenberg|
|Country||Fanny von Galgenberg, Germany|
|Measures||7.2 cm in height and weighs 10 g|
|Current Location||Museum of Natural History in Vienna, Austria|
|Amazing Facts||“It is sculpted from the shiny green serpentine rock which is found in the immediate vicinity of where the figurine was unearthed.
Because the figurine exhibits a “dancing pose” it was given the nickname of “Fanny”
|Venus of Dolní Věstonice|
|Country||Moravia, Czech Republic|
|Creation Time||29,000-25,000 BCE|
|Measures||height of 111 millimeters (4.4 in), and a width of 43 millimeters (1.7 in)|
|Current Location||Moravské zemské Museum, Brno, Czech Republic|
The figurine was discovered on 13 July 1925 in a layer of ash, broken into two pieces. Once on display at the Moravian Museum in Brno,
it is now protected and only rarely accessible to the public.
Scientists periodically examine the statuette.
|Venus of Lespugue|
|Country||The French Pyrenees|
|Measures||Approximately 6 inches (150 mm) tall|
|Amazing Facts||The Venus of Lespugue resides in France, at the Musée de l’Homme. It was damaged during excavation|
|Venus of Willendorf|
|Measures||11.1-centimeter-tall (4.4 in)|
|Current Location||Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria|
The figure is believed to have been carved during the European Upper Paleolithic,
or “Old Stone Age”, a period of prehistory starting around 30,000 BCE.
In a 2009 reexamination of the stratigraphy at the site, researchers estimated
that the age of the archaeological layer in which the figurine was found is about 30,000 years before our time.
|Venus of Brassempouy|
|Measures||The head is 3.65 cm high, 2.2 cm deep and 1.9 cm wide|
|Current Location||Musée d’Archéologie Nationale at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris|
|Amazing Facts||The Venus of Brassempouy meaning is (“Lady with the Hood”).
It is one of the earliest known realistic representations of a human face.
The face is triangular and seems tranquil. In 1976, the Venus of Brassempouy was depicted on a 2.00 franc stamp”
Purpose of Making Venus Statuette