Venus of Willendorf: An Annotated Bibliography
Witcombe, C. 2003. “Women in Prehistory: The "Venus" of Willendorf” http://www.asu.edu/cfa/wwwcourses/art/SOACore/Willendorf_portfolio.htm
Witecombe’s article was useful in describing the material the figure was carved from, oolitic limestone. He described the material as nonnative to the region, which he inferred that the figure must have traveled there from another area. Witecombe also described the method the Venus of Willendorf must have been carved from, flint tools. Flint tools were not used locally during the period of the region the artifact was discovered. Witecombe’s article was not useful in describing how this prehistoric artifact was given its title. Harding, J.R. 1976. “Certain Upper Palaeolithic 'Venus' Statuettes Considered in Relation to the Pathological Condition Known as Massive Hypertrophy of the Breasts” Man, New Series, Vol. 11, No.2, June, 271-272
Harding has a very different idea of why the Venus of Willendorf was carved. He believes that the prehistoric figure portrays that of a female with massive hypertrophy of the breasts. The person who made the figure may have been the medicine man or someone intrigued by this condition. Harding argues that the condition is present in the height of the statuette, the excess mammary development in relation to the size of the thighs, hips and stomach. He believes that the hand(s) seen on the breasts may that of the medicine man. Harding also offers the information that the lines portrayed on the Venus of Willendorf are possibly previous incisions made by the medicine man as part of his treatment. Soffer, O., Adovasio, J.M., Hyland, D.C. 2000. “The “Venus” Figurines: Textiles, Basketry, Gender, and Status in the Upper Paleolithic” Current Anthropology, Vol.41, No.4, August/October, 1-53
This article was useful in describing the garment worn on the head of the statuette and its use. The garment provided...
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