Venus of Hohle Fels

The article written by Deborah Barlow in her blog Slow Muse clearly needs some comment – because I agree wholeheartedly with the writer’s view.

Venus of Hohle Fels

Venus of Hohle Fels

This is a great artifact and archaeological find – and clearly is meant to represent respect and admiration for the fertility and reproductive value of women in an ancient society.

One man may be able to fertilise many woman, but without even one woman, men cannot reproduce themselves. Without women and childbirth – the human race would soon become extinct.

Why do we pretend to be so surprised that the value of a woman’s reproductive capacity was regarded as worthy of respect and perhaps even worship, in ancient times.

Women demand to be respected as individuals and as more than just breeding stock. I agree with those demands.

But we cannot escape the simple biological facts of human reproduction – which clearly was evident in society 35,000 years ago.

It is only the denial of those facts that could even remotely lead to comments about this beautiful and sensitive carving being regarded as pornographic.

About Lesley Dewar

Passionate about story telling and getting kids involved with adventures to improve their self esteem and self-confidence Blogger, Author, Networker, Social Media, Activist.
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2 Responses to Venus of Hohle Fels

  1. EJB says:

    Yes indeed, such awful sweeping generalisations about this figure are staggering in this day and age. I’m actually quite surprised that these old culture – historic ideas are even still in circulation or is this scientist trying to be ‘ironic?! When I did my archaeology degree 15 years ago, we were somewhat iconoclastic and deconstructist about these values, which came out of Victorian male dominated establishments. How this figurine can be called ‘pornographic’ is beyond me too, considering it comes from a context we can only speculate upon, but one more likely tied to Shamanic reality, and possibly sexual tabboos, than any criteria from modern culture. A very disapointing introduction for this little lady after 40,000 years I feel.

    My own opinion on these carvings is that they had multiple meanings. They could have been used as teaching devices, by older women who were introducing young girls at menarche to the world of adult responsibility (the Bemba in Africa for instance use them this way). They may also have been worn by Shamans as a ‘power’ to be evoked perhaps representing an ancestral figure. Whether or not they represented a concept of the Mother Goddess is also something of a generalisation, albeit a more ‘woman friendly’ one! However, to allude to them being used by men as a form of sexual titilation seems about the most unlikely explanation for them, when one considers how very recent and Eurocentric this concept is. Even if this figure did have a ‘sexual’ purpose, it would most surely be linked to the world of magic and taboo within a culture that did not have ideas about secular and religious division. Hopefully in time a better and more well thought out interpretation will come to light.

  2. Lesley Dewar says:

    Thank you for your excellent and informative comment. I appreciate the time you have taken to respond and care with which you have addressed the topic.

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