Thursday, 14 May 2009

Fertility or Nuture?

Photo: H. Jensen, Tübingen University - The Venus of Hohle FelsThis 6cm-tall figurine with disproportionally large breasts, buttocks and vulva, carved in mammoth ivory, is thought to be at least 35,000 years old. She's The Venus of Hohle Fels Cave, Germany, found in six fragments last September. Her "head" is a ring, which allows the figurine to be worn. Primitive Man obviously didn't need a woman with a head, so long as all the rude bits were there! Fertility symbol? With mammary glands that would make a Friesian cow blush, more a symbol of nurturing. We tend to forget how dependant infants are on mother's milk and how nursing mothers need a consistent supply of good food. Not much point in being fertile if all the babies starve to death. Those breasts would feed an entire village.


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