Catherine McCoid and LeRoy McDermott think that the figurines were done as self-portraits by the women themselves. , Catherine McCoid and LeRoy McDermott hypothesize that the figurines may have been created as self-portraits by women. This small scale was very deliberate and allowed whoever carved (or, perhaps owned) this figurine to carry it during their nearly daily nomadic travels in search of food. If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked. We believe art has the power to transform lives and to build understanding across cultures. It is believed to have been crafted between 30,000 and 25,000 BCE, making it one of the world's oldest known works of art. A study made in 1990 suggests that the figure was made between 24.000 and 22.000 BCE. could not have incised “Bob made this in the year 24,000 B.C.E.” on the back. Help Smarthistory continue to make a difference, Help make art history relevant and engaging, Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated Sites (UNESCO/NHK), Nuragic architecture at Su Nuraxi Barumini, Sardinia, Running Horned Woman, Tassili n’Ajjer, Algeria. The people that made the sculpture were nomadic, which means that they moved to different locations throughout the year, and did not stay in the same place. While this hypothesis has held water for years, historians, archaeologists, and other experts in the field today still aren't certain about its portrayal, purpose, or even origins, making this sculpture one of the most mysterious in the world. shared a function similar to its classically inspired namesake. The figurine was made with great skill, as were many others like it. Khan Academy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Celebrating creativity and promoting a positive culture by spotlighting the best sides of humanity—from the lighthearted and fun to the thought-provoking and enlightening. Generally, the deeper an object is recovered from the earth, the longer that object has been buried. (Roughly 80 more exist as fragments or partial figures.) In the 1970s, researchers concluded it was around 20,000 years old. We created Smarthistory to provide students around the world with the highest-quality educational resources for art and cultural heritage—for free. Following a revised analysis of the stratigraphy of the site where the statuette was discovered, carried out in 1990, the figure was estimated to have been carved between 24,000 and 22,000 BCE.  More recent estimates push the date back slightly to between about 28,000 and 25,000 BCE. It was discovered in 1908 by archaeologist Josef Szombathy at a paleolithic site near Willendorf. Ars Electronica Linz GmbH & Co KG / Ars-Electronica-Straße 1, 4040 Linz, Austria. Venus was the name of the Roman goddess of love and ideal beauty. The Venus of Willendorf is one of the earliest images of the body made by humankind.
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