Venus de Willendorf, is a statuette of a feminine figure open pie in a paleolithic excavation near Krems, Low Austria, in 1908 by the archeologist Josef Szombathy .


The figure of this naked woman, of 11.1 centimeters of stop, was carved in monolithic limestone Stone, that are not local in the region, and red guinea fowl with ocher . It seems to be a conventional representation, nonrealistic, since his Abdomen, Vulva, Rumps and Mamas is extremely voluminous ( Esteatopigia ), of where many students have deduced a strong relation with the concept of the fertility. very fragile and almost imperceptible Arms, bend on the sines; and it does not have a visible face, being his covered head than they can be braids, a type of hairdo or a hood. Although the legs are anatomically very right, the feet have not been represented (or they are had lost), finishing the sculpture around the ankles.

Archaeological context

The deposit of Willendorf is in fact a set of seven occupations of Paleolithic Superior, in a field of Loess of the valley of the Danube . The statuette appeared in Establishment II, whose stratigraphy extends from a base Auriñaciense, until the Pavloviense (a local denomination of Magdaleniense ). castrates number 9, the one that contained the little figure, provided one lítica Industry composed by leaves of anatido edge, truncated pieces and ends of notch of a type previous to which occurs in the levels of Kostienki, In 1990, after a revision of analysis of the stratigraphy of the site, was considered that it has between 22,000 and 24,000 years of antiquity.


Very little it is known of his origin, method of creation or cultural meaning. The nickname with which it is well-known ( Venus ) cause rejection to some present students who are not able to see in this figure with obesity characteristics the classic image of the beauty. Christopher Witcombe, professor of the Sweet Briar College, in Virginia, for example, suggests “the ironic identification of these figures with “prehistoric ideals of beauty” satisfied some current concepts (at the time in which it was discovered), on which he was the primitive man, on the women and the esthetic sense” . Other authors have many reluctance in identifying it like Mother Earth of the European culture of Paleolithic Superior because it is impossible to find tests on this type of speculations. Some suggest their corpulencia represents high estatus social in one Society hunting-collector and that, besides the obvious reference to the fertility, the image also could be a well-being and success, security symbol.

The feet of the statue are not carved so that it stays still on by itself. For that reason, one thinks outside that used to be taken by somebody instead of only to be observed, being able to be only Amulet . There is one who defends the hypothesis that could be inserted in Vagina, in Ritual of Fertility .


Venus comprises of the collection of Naturhistorisches Museum, in Vienna . This is one of Venus but famous, together with the Venus of Laussel and Grimaldi.

Notes and bibliography

: * (page 252)

It is also seen

Simple: Venus of Willendorf .

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