Dr. Robin Smith
Interpretations of Upper Paleolithic Venus figurines pose an interesting challenge for archaeologists. Scholars who have studied these prehistoric representations of the female form have reached a variety of conclusions that may be better seen as a reflection of modern sociocultural values and ideals than being representative of the peoples who made the Venuses. I argue that by transposing our own ideals onto the Venus figurines, we act as colonizers and appropriators of the past. Reviewing archaeological literature regarding the Venuses, we gain a sense of the strengths and weaknesses of current approaches to interpreting representations of gender. These lessons serve as a starting point for constructing archaeological methods of interpreting representations of gender and gender relations in a way that more accurately reflects the ancient peoples who crafted these figurines.
Vandewettering, Kaylea R.
"Upper Paleolithic Venus Figurines and Interpretations of Prehistoric Gender Representations,"
PURE Insights: Vol. 4
, Article 7.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wou.edu/pure/vol4/iss1/7