December 10, 2011


The earth mother of all neolithic discoveries (John Lichfield, 10 December 2011, Independent)

French archaeologists have discovered an extremely rare example of a neolithic "earth mother" figurine on the banks of the river Somme.

The 6,000-year-old statuette is 8in high, with imposing buttocks and hips but stubby arms and a cone-like head. Similar figures have been found before in Europe but rarely so far north and seldom in such a complete and well-preserved condition.

The "lady of Villers-Carbonnel", as she has been named, can make two claims to be an "earth mother". She was fired from local earth or clay and closely resembles figurines with similar, stylised female bodies found around the Mediterranean.

On the series, How Art Made the World, V. S. Ramachandran offered an ingenious thesis about why these figurines, with their radically accentuated body parts, were so uniform and common, a theory derived from observations of herring gulls.  It certainly explains the Tittie Box.

Posted by at December 10, 2011 5:21 AM

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