The Venus of Hohle Fels has no head, like many other examples, but it does have a (partial) ring where the head should be, suggesting that it was suspended from a cord. The figure measures 59.7 x 34.6 x 31.3 mm, and it weighs 33.3 grams.
The figure is short and squat with a visible waist and large breasts and buttocks. Deeply incised lines cover the abdomen to the pubic triangle. These incisions cover the back and, Conard believes, may represent clothing.
The legs are short, pointed and asymmetrical; the buttocks and genitals depicted in anatomically-correct detail.
Ivory working at Hohle Fels is abundantly in evidence, as it is at other sites belonging to the lower Aurignacian of this part of Germany, suggesting that figurine carving was a characteristic of Aurignacian people right from the beginning.
Sources and Further Information
- Conard, Nicholas J. 2009 A female figurine from the basal Aurignacian of Hohle Fels Cave in southwestern Germany. Nature 459(7244):248-252
- Hohle Fels, site description
- Venus Figurines, a definition
- Prehistoric Pinup, video on the Nature website
- Conard, Nicholas J. 2003 Palaeolithic ivory sculptures from southwestern Germany and the origins of figurative art. Nature 426:830-832.
- Hardy, Bruce L., Michael Bolus, and Nicholas J. Conard 2008 Hammer or crescent wrench? Stone-tool form and function in the Aurignacian of southwest Germany. Journal of Human Evolution 54(5):648-662