Humankind’s 23,000-Year-Old Obsession with Junk in the Trunk
The Siberian Times has reported the discovery of a rare Paleolithic goddess statue which is believed to be 23,000 years old. The archaeologists who found her describe the statue as a “Venus,” a common type of fertility idol found throughout the world.
The Venus is made of ivory, carved from a mammoth tusk. Imagine: hunting with a clan of your tribesmen and taking down an angry 6-ton mammoth. After you consume its flesh in honor of the fallen kinsmen it took in the hunt, you rip off a tusk, lie by the fire, and carve it into an idol of your most intimate desire: fat bottomed girls. Sounds pretty hardcore to me. Artists today have it too easy.
The Venus was found in an area of Siberia believed to have been home to tribes of hunters and gathers as far back as 21,000 to 24,000 years ago based on radiocarbon dating of mammoth and bison bones found near deposits of stone tools along the Angara River near Lake Baikal. Archaeologists discovered the Venus lying near several other fragments of mammoth bone which had been painted red.
It is believed that figurines like these were used for ritual or ceremonial purposes, likely fertility rites or offerings. According to Dr. Konstantin Gavrilov, who led the expedition which found the Venus, the figure’s pose and curves are a recurring phenomenon found in human art throughout the centuries:
This statuette pictures a rather portly woman, but it looks fantastically delicate, probably due to the long and thin legs. The figurine with slightly bent legs recalls Danae, as painted by the New Age artists.
I love stories like this – they really show you how despite all of our technological advances, humankind still has the same basic desires and motivations. One of our most instincts is the drive to reproduce and propagate our species, and certain physiological features just seem to be associated with fertility throughout the ages. Sure, the media might change, but the message still stays the same: Fat bottom girls, you make the rockin’ world go ‘round.