I also wonder if the change to a very different type of representation of the female body about 16,000 years ago was a world-wide thing? And - is there a contimuum of figures from the "Gonnersdorf" style down to say, about 4000 BCE and the "bird woman" figurines (that's what I call them) from Crete and one spectacular example from pre-Dynastic Egypt -- I think it's Naqada III (c. 3500 BCE)? Connections? Is anybody out there thinking outside their small little boxes?????
|6000 year old "Lady of Villers-Carbonnel" France (2011)|
|20000 yer old ivory carving found at Garabaldi, Italy|
pre-Dynastic Egypt, bird goddess, c. 3500 BCE
housed at the Brooklyn Museum
Some researchers at the meeting, while cautioning that such interpretations are necessarily speculative, say that the pair's thesis has merit. "I rate it highly," says Clive Gamble, an archaeologist at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. The figurines helped cement the social networks of expanding populations "whose insurance policy was having friends and relations over as big an area as possible." The change in styles from voluptuous to schematic females, Gamble adds, shows that "it's not over" even after "the fat lady sings."
Paul Pettitt, an archaeologist at the Durham University in the United Kingdom, agrees. "Sabine and Olaf remind us" that prehistoric art could have "dramatically different" functions as conditions changed for human societies, he says. But Randall White, an archaeologist at New York University in New York City, says that he is "not a fan" of the hypothesis, arguing that it oversimplifies the dichotomy between the two styles of female depictions, which he thinks were not as clear-cut as the MONREPOS archaeologists claim.