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Prehistoric Venus – Beyond Ancient Art

Author: Twomacs

Prehistoric Venus, or Ancient Goddess, is a reference to a class of art object made by modern humans before writing existed, therefore ‘pre-history’ by definition.

Writing started in several places at approximately the same time, around 3500-3000BC. Sumer and China were close together with Sumer currently viewed as being the first. All other places were later than that with Mesoamerica being less than 1000 BC. Therefore, the term prehistoric has a different meaning depending on location.

To put things into perspective current research has the dispersal of Homo Sapien into Europe set for 45,000 to 30,000 years ago. That dispersion occurred before the last glacial period that started circa 30,000 years ago and ended circa 10,000 years ago. Glacial maximums have been associated with the extinction of species and after the last maximum (commonly called ‘the last ice age’) the only human-like life form left was Homo Sapien.

Populations would rise in refuge areas (Refugiums) during the glacial periods and dispersion would occur in the interglacial periods. Art followed Homo Sapien, whether that is the earliest known cave wall painting dated to circa 30,000BC or the Ancient Goddess known as Prehistoric Venus.

The oldest Prehistoric Venus found to date is the Venus of Hohle Fels, found recently in Germany, which has been dated to 40,000 to 35,000BC. That pre-dates the last glacial expansion and any known cave paintings. That is old! Its age does coincide with Homo Sapien expansion in Europe in an interglacial period.

Several other Prehistoric Venuses have been found and dated to times when the last glacial period was at its maximum; a time when Britain was largely under ice and the Iberian Peninsula was a refuge. Clearly some hardy folks remained in the frozen tundra that was Europe, at least those parts not beneath the crushing weight of glaciers.  The following are very old artifacts:

•    35,000 – 40,000BC Venus of Hohle Fels, Germany. Discovered in 2009 predates the last ice age.
•    30,000 BC – Venus of Willendorf discovered in Austria, 1908.
•    25,000 BC – Venus of Lespuge discovered in a French cave in 1922.
•    23,000 BC – Venus of Brassempouy discovered in 1894 in Brassempouy, Landes, France.
•    20,000 BC – Venus of Laussel discovered in 1911 in a cave in Dordogne, France.

All were created before or during the last glacial period.

Following are some post-glacial Venuses:

•    4000 BC – Nile River Goddess discovered in Mohamerian, near Edfu, Egypt.
•    3200-2800 BC – Turriga Mother Goddess discovered in Sardinia, Italy
•    3000 BC – Dreamer of Malta discovered on the Mediterranean island of Malta.
•    2600 BC – Harvest Goddess from Mohenjo Daro discovered in 1920 in Pakistan’s Sindh province.

Prehistoric Venuses have common elements of distorted features and aggressive sexuality. Most prehistoric art found to date depicts women, which causes much speculation about the concept of ‘Mother Earth’ worship.

The most intriguing aspect of Prehistoric Venus, apart from age, is commonality in form yet they come from diverse cultures and locations. We may never know the reason or how dispersed communities came to have common themes in art. Yet one truth remains; at this time the Prehistoric Venus of Hohle Fels is the oldest known art in the world.

Prehistoric Venus Replicas

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Ancient Art Replicas

Posted in Africa, Egypt, Europe, Goddesses, India.

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