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I am watching " Civilization" on PBS, about the The Second Moment of creation, which is about the beginnings of art. I have been mesmerized by the ancient cave paintings for years, and have been trying to figure out a tattoo of the beautiful horses they drew. I also love the prehistoric figurines of women and guess what they depict. Sinse they are so voluptuous, I wonder if they represent the magic of fertility, monthly bleeding, giving birth, and creating food for a child.

Wisewoman3 7 Apr 17

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I thought the figure carved in ivory was astounding for the tools that were used.
I've always been drawn to the cave paintings, a glimpse in to their world and what was important to them. I wonder why the humans are basically stick figures and the fauna was more life-like? Has anyone seen paleo paintings of people other than the stick like figures?

Oh, this why people are stick figures.

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Wow. It sounds cool. I don't pay for TV in my room.

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I caught the previews on PBS.org, and I'll watch it as soon as full episodes are available online. Thanks for the tip!

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Is the the BBC one? We watched it several weeks ago..love Simon Schma and Mary Beard

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The Venus figures are most likely symbols of fertility: their faces and not important, and the emphasis is on their stomachs and breasts. They are pregnant, not obese, and that
they were so large indicates that their children would have a better chance of survival than those of an emaciated women. They might have been talismans.

The question of art for art's sake arises with the "art" of our ancestors; I don't think it was art for art's sake, but that there was a purpose to their art. Paintings of animals could indicate a belief in sympathetic magic. Whichever, it is fascinating.

I have read about prehistoric art for years. The Venus figurines are very beautiful. The tiny head and no face certainly emphasize fertility above all. I think they could be sympathetic magic, but the artist also made them in great detail. They are incredibly beautiful also.

@Wisewoman3 One of my passions is mythology, and the iconography of preliterate societies is fascinating to try to decipher. I find it interesting that in Catalhoyuk (in modern day Turkey), one statue depicts a woman sitting on a throne with large cats on either side. Much later, Cybele (also from what is modern Turkey but aka 'Anatolia'😉 is depicted on a throne with large cats on either side.

@Gwendolyn2018 I love those also. Very powerful female images.

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Sounds interesting. I'm going to look it up.

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That is what I draw from the sculptures

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