Women in History: Venus de Willendorf

This statuette is one of the earliest representations of the human body made by humankind. Known as Venus de Willendorf, with Willendorf being the Austrian town in which she was found, it’s estimated that she was carved 25,000 years ago in the Paleolithic Period.

These figures of the female form span 10,000 years and can be found in sites spread across Spain, France, Russia, Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia. Venus de Willendorf and other figurines like her are significant because they suggest a time of Goddess worshipping societies. According to historian Bettany Hughes, 92% of all figurines made from 40,000 BC to 1000 BC are in female form.