Museum of: Wien
    Name of the artefact: Venus from Willendorf
   
The figurine was found beneth layer 9 of site Willendorf II, not far from a big fire place together with Gravettian stone tools. The lack of face feet and th tiny arms on the one hand and the focus on primary and secondary sex characteristics is typical for the Gravettian female statuettes. The Gravettian statuettes follow a certain scheme often interpreted as a common idea of fertility, motherhood or protection. Their exact place in the imagination of the ice age hunters can only be supposed.
                                 
 
WHERE IS IT AND MAIN CHARACTERISTICS
 
STATE
Department:
Prehistory
Preservation:
Very good
Inventory number:
44.686
Restauration:
No restored
Name of the artefact:
Venus from Willendorf
Completeness:
Complete
Object type:
Human figurine
 
Material:
Oolithic limstone
Methof of manufacture:
Sculptered with stone tools<
Decoration type:
No decoration
Distinctive mark:
-
DIMENSIONS
 
PERIOD OF USE
Length (mm):
11cm
Epoque:
Palaeolithic
Heigth (mm):
-
Culture:
Gravettian
Diameter (mm):
-
Period:
Upper Palaeolithic
Width (mm):
-
Face:
Willendorf-Kostenki
Thickness (mm):
-
Absolute chronology:
25000 bc
Weight (g):
-
DISCOVERY
Date:
7. 8. 1908
Country:
Austria
District:
Krems
Town hall affiliation:
-
Village:
Willendorf
Discovery findspot:
-
Condition of discovery:
Archaeological excavation
Discovery type:
Dwelling
 
ANALYSES DETERMINATIONS
 
FILLED IN BY
Type:
-
Name:
Walpurga Antl
Laboratory:
-
Institution:
Natural History Museum Vienna
No./Code:
-
Date:
20/02/2006
 
DEEPENINGS

Morphology of the object:

The completely preserved statuette is made of oolithic limestone. It shows a naked women with heavy breasts, stout hips and a prominent belly. Upon weak shoulders there is a relatively big head showing a rather complicated hairstyle or a hat. Thighs and lower legs are very realistic but shortened. The feet and the face are completely missing and the arms are worked out allusively. On both of her arms are bracelets. originally the figurine was completely covered with red ochre.

Decoration:

-

Inscription:

-

Analogies:

Comparable figurines can be found in Gravettian context from France to Russia. The Venus from Willendorf combines some characteristics of the West European and the East European figurines. The closest similarities can be found at the statuettes from kostenki and Gagarino.

Interpretation:

May be the statuettes should express the idea of fertility or motherhood, perhaps also protection. Their exact place in the imagination of ice age hunters can only be supposed. Many of the statuettes were found near fire places or in pits covered with red ochre - red ochre being often interpreted as symbol for life.
Bibliography:
-