earliest nude sculpture termed pornography?

venus-hohle-fels-nature.jpg
Side and front views show the six-centimetre, 35,000-year-old ivory carving found in Germany’s Hohle Fels cave. (H. Jensen/University of Tuebingen)

From photography to the internet, a characteristic sign that a new medium is going to succeed is that it is exploited by pornographers. And that, it seems, is not a recent phenomenon. A find reported in this week’s Nature suggests that sculpture, too, brought the smut-makers in early. Nicholas Conrad of the University of Tübingen, in Germany, describes what is probably the oldest human statue yet discovered. It is 6cm tall. It is carved from a mammoth tusk. It dates from about 35,000 years ago. It was found in a cave in south-western Germany. And it is, not to put too fine a point upon the matter, obscene. As 35,000 years ago is reckoned the moment when modern man, Homo sapiens, arrived in Europe, this discovery adds to the evidence that human thinking—or male thinking, at least—has hardly changed since the species evolved.[From Palaeolithic pornography: Unveiled | The Economist]

What a wonderful example of unbiased reporting! lets forget for a moment that this is the oldest human statue found to date. lets forget that its an interesting example of a fertility idol, with evidence that it was worn as an adornment, let’s forget that any insights into early artforms give us so much understanding into where we came from and how art has evolved – no. let’s focus n the fact that she is nude and has big boobs and big thighs. yes, that is the important part of this discovery.

This discovery, termed Venus of Hohle Fels, is fascinating to me, this is from a period where female representation was almost unknown. this figure is tiny – 6 cm long. and very detailed for the size it is. yes, it is a fertility idol, yes it is sexual, as fertility idols are. but why is that ever so much more important than the discovery itself?

for a better article about this discovery and what it means, I recommend Ivory carving may be oldest sculpture of human form

One thought on “earliest nude sculpture termed pornography?

  1. Isn’t it something that fertility symbols, or symbols of WOMAN are judged to be obscene? Some things never change, do they?

    Many cultures have depictions of extravagant male anatomy parts. We hide that part of ‘diversity’ from our kids because it’s ‘obscene’. Though it represents the same thing: fertility.

    While the Church encourages fertility in this time of massive overpopulation, people manage to find something wrong with celebrating fertility back in a time when every life was necessesary for the survival of the species.

    The ‘Earth Mother’ has been around far longer than the patriarchial ‘Jehova’. She represents growth and change, he represents control, power, and suppression.

    No wonder that our far-distant ancestors venerated a symbol of life.

    The fact that somebody 35,000 years later would find it ‘obscene’ is the true obscenity.

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