Sunday, 11 December 2011

The lady of Villers-Carbonnel

You may have seen reports of this stunning figurine found in France and described as a 'fertility goddess' and 'earth mother'. Amongst archaeologists this is still hotly debated, with some 'leading' figures insisting that they are representations of ancestors (see past posts here). As you can see this clay figure resembles many such creations of a similar nature that were made not just c.6,000 years ago, as in this 8 inch high example from the Neolithic, but tens of thousands of years ago from the Palaeolithic. What is unusual is to find one so far north. 

She was found on the River Somme in several bits and still in situ in a kiln. With an emphasis on the thighs and buttocks it follows the same pattern as many other examples of female figurines and is very stylised in other aspects, with no facial features or attempts at trying to make it look like a real human being. That is because she wasn't. In the papers she is called a 'cult' figure but there is evidence that a female dominated religion was widespread during the vast time period before the Indo-Europeans spread into the continent in the Bronze Age. To call this a cult is ridiculous.    

The find was as a result of constructing a 60 mile long and 50m wide canal to allow barges to link the Seine and Rhine to Belgium ports, with the French government's 'Inrap' agency given funds to explore the possible 77 sites to be uncovered. Wouldn't happen here, as we have a private dominated archaeology culture overseen by government 'quangos'. Which is the best....?  

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