|20/20. Sophisticated lines are to show the the different materials of which the clothes made. Picture: Lyudmila Lbova, Hermitage Museum|
None are naked: instead, they're far more interesting…
New groundbreaking research shows that a celebrated collection of prehistoric Venus figurines are - in fact - a fashion show of ordinary people of all ages from some 20,000 years ago.
Close microscopic inspection reveals them as being far from idealised female forms. Rather, many are male, and others are children, the new research shows.
It's true that in the past some of the woolly mammoth tusk carvings were known to be clothed. Notably, these were called alluringly Venus in Furs figurines. They were dressed for protection from the Siberian winter, and are possibly the oldest known images anywhere in the world of sewn fur clothing. Yet even deep in Soviet times, the figurines were hailed for their feminine features, and seen as the idealised female form.
Here, for example, are the words of eminent Siberian archeologist and historian Academician Alexey Okladnikov in 1957, on his first 'meeting' with one of the stunning examples of Palaeolithic art from the Buret excavations in this collection.
Carved of mammoth tusk, these female forms - as he supposed - rested in the 'moist and warm soil' soaked by a recent night thunderstorm. Seemingly enchanted and using language veering from the strictly scientific into the lyrical, he hailed this figurine as 'not a dead piece of an alien and long-vanished world, but something thrilling, soulful and full of life'.
Entranced by the ancient vision, he lauded her 'narrow, Mongolian slanted eyes, similar to those of a cat, looking at us, the people of the twentieth century, mysteriously and even somewhat ironically'.
In rich poetic vein, he continued: 'Her face, carved so unexpectedly gentle and tender, had a barely noticeable smile. The feeling of vitality and mystery coming from this fragment of mammoth tusk was getting even deeper because the statuette radiated the warmth of a living creature.
'It wasn't yellow or brown, like dozens of ancient sculptures from mammoth tusks that lie behind the museum glass window. It was pink and almost warm, like a live human body. This is exactly how a piece of a fossil ivory looks, soaked with the millennial Earth's juices.' But now deeper study using modern technology has been conducted by Dr Lyudmila Lbova and trace analysis specialist Dr Pavel Volkov. [...] siberiantimes.com
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L’étude des plus anciennes statuettes trouvées en Sibérie, dans les années 20 et 50, montrent qu’elles sont habillées et qu’elles ne sont pas des représentations d’un corps féminin idéalisé...
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Un detallado estudio revela ahora que representan tanto individuos masculinos como femeninos o infantiles, y prácticamente todas están vestidas...
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Contenido relacionado: PaleoVenus > Galería de imágenes