Venus figurines of Gönnersdorf
The Venus figurines from Gönnersdorf, at Neuwied, are paleolithic sculptures depicting the female body. Gerhard Bosinski led the excavations between 1968 and 1976 at Neuwied a town on the Rhine in Germany; the figures consist of carved antler or Mammoth tusk ivory. They stem from the Magdalenian period; these figurines are between 8.7 cm long. At the same place many engravings of animals, human beings and abstract signs on slate were found; the depictions of human beings were much stylized. Most women were depicted, always in profile without a head; the Montastruc decorated stone in the British Museum has similar stylization. Art of the Upper Paleolithic List of Stone Age art Venus figurines Venus of Willendorf Venus of Dolní Věstonice Bosinski, G.. Die Ausgrabungen in Gönnersdorf 1968–1976 und die Siedlungsbefunde der Grabung 1968. Mit Beiträgen von David Batchelor. Wiesbaden: Steiner. ISBN 3-515-02509-X. Delporte H.. L’image de la femme dans l’art préhistorique. Paris: Ed. Picard. Müller-Beck, H. & Albrecht, G..
Die Anfänge der Kunst vor 30000 Jahren. Stuttgart: Theiss. Don Hitchcock: "Gönnersdorf and Andernach-Martinsberg" http://www.donsmaps.com/couze.html
In the history of art, prehistoric art is all art produced in preliterate, prehistorical cultures beginning somewhere in late geological history, continuing until that culture either develops writing or other methods of record-keeping, or makes significant contact with another culture that has, that makes some record of major historical events. At this point ancient art begins, for the older literate cultures; the end-date for what is covered by the term thus varies between different parts of the world. The earliest human artifacts showing evidence of workmanship with an artistic purpose are the subject of some debate, it is clear that such workmanship existed by 40,000 years ago in the Upper Paleolithic era, although it is quite possible that it began earlier. In September 2018, scientists reported the discovery of the earliest known drawing by Homo sapiens, estimated to be 73,000 years old, much earlier than the 43,000 years old artifacts understood to be the earliest known modern human drawings found previously.
Engraved shells created by Homo erectus dating as far back as 500,000 years ago have been found, although experts disagree on whether these engravings can be properly classified as ‘art’. From the Upper Palaeolithic through to the Mesolithic, cave paintings and portable art such as figurines and beads predominated, with decorative figured workings seen on some utilitarian objects. In the Neolithic evidence of early pottery appeared, as did sculpture and the construction of megaliths. Early rock art first appeared during this period; the advent of metalworking in the Bronze Age brought additional media available for use in making art, an increase in stylistic diversity, the creation of objects that did not have any obvious function other than art. It saw the development in some areas of artisans, a class of people specializing in the production of art, as well as early writing systems. By the Iron Age, civilizations with writing had arisen from Ancient Egypt to Ancient China. Many indigenous peoples from around the world continued to produce artistic works distinctive to their geographic area and culture, until exploration and commerce brought record-keeping methods to them.
Some cultures, notably the Maya civilization, independently developed writing during the time they flourished, later lost. These cultures may be classified as prehistoric if their writing systems have not been deciphered; the earliest undisputed art originated with the Aurignacian archaeological culture in the Upper Paleolithic. However, there is some evidence that the preference for the aesthetic emerged in the Middle Paleolithic, from 100,000 to 50,000 years ago; some archaeologists have interpreted certain Middle Paleolithic artifacts as early examples of artistic expression. The symmetry of artifacts, evidence of attention to the detail of tool shape, has led some investigators to conceive of Acheulean hand axes and laurel points as having been produced with a degree of artistic expression. A zig-zag etching made with a shark tooth on a freshwater clam-shell around 500,000 years ago, associated with Homo erectus, was proposed as the earliest evidence of artistic activity in 2014. There are other claims of Middle Paleolithic sculpture, dubbed the "Venus of Tan-Tan" and the "Venus of Berekhat Ram".
In 2002 in Blombos cave, situated in South Africa, stones were discovered engraved with grid or cross-hatch patterns, dated to some 70,000 years ago. This suggested to some researchers that early Homo sapiens were capable of abstraction and production of abstract art or symbolic art. Several archaeologists including Richard Klein are hesitant to accept the Blombos caves as the first example of actual art. In September 2018 the discovery in South Africa of the earliest known drawing by Homo sapiens was announced, estimated to be 73,000 years old, much earlier than the 43,000 years old artifacts understood to be the earliest known modern human drawings found previously. In November 2018, scientists reported the discovery of the oldest known figurative art painting, over 40,000 years old, of an unknown animal, in the cave of Lubang Jeriji Saléh on the Indonesian island of Borneo. One of the oldest undisputed works of figurative art were found in the Schwäbische Alb, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
The earliest of these, the Venus figurine known as the Venus of Hohle Fels and the Lion-man figurine, date to some 40,000 years ago. Further depictional art from the Upper Palaeolithic period includes cave painting and portable art: Venus figurines like the Venus of Willendorf, as well as animal carvings like the Swimming Reindeer, Wolverine pendant of Les Eyzies, several of the objects known as bâtons de commandement. Paintings in Pettakere cave on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi are up to 40,000 years old, a similar date to the oldest European cave art, which may suggest an older common origin for this type of art in Africa. Monumental open-air art in Europe from this period includes the rock-art at Côa Valley and Mazouco in Portugal, Domingo García and Siega Verde in Spain, Rocher gravé de Fornols in France. A cave at Turobong in South Korea containing human remains has been found to contain carved deer bones and depictions of deer that may be as much as 40,000 years old. Petroglyphs of deer or reindeer found at Sokchang-ri may date to the Upper Paleolithic.
Potsherds in a style reminiscent of early Japanese work have been found at Kosan-ri on Jeju island, due to lower sea levels at the time, would have been accessible from Japan. The oldest petroglyphs are dated to approxi
National Museum (Prague)
The National Museum is a Czech museum institution intended to systematically establish and publicly exhibit natural scientific and historical collections. It was founded in 1818 by Kašpar Maria Šternberg. Historian František Palacký was strongly involved in the foundation of the museum. At present, the National Museum houses 14 million items from the areas of natural history, arts and librarianship, which are located in dozens of buildings; the foundation of the National Museum holds historical context. After the French Revolution and private collections of art and culture were being made available to the public; the beginnings of the museum can be seen as far back as 1796, when the private Society of Patriotic Friends of the Arts was founded by Count Casper Sternberk-Manderschied and a group of other prominent nobles. The avowed purpose of the society was "the renewed promotion of art and taste", during the time of Joseph II, it would be adamantly opposed to the King. In 1800 the group founded the Academy of Fine Arts, which would train students in progressive forms of art and history.
The National Museum in Prague was founded on April 15, 1818. It was founded by the first president of the Society of the Patriotic Museum, Count Sternberk, who served as the trustee and operator of the museum. Early on, the focus of the museum was natural sciences because Count Sternberk was a botanist and eminent phytopaleontologist, but because of the natural science slant of the times, as perpetrated by Emperor Joseph II of Austria; the museum was located in the Sternberg Palace, however the venue became too small to hold the museum's collections. The museum relocated to the Nostitz Palace, but this was found to be of insufficient capacity, which led to the decision to construct a new building for the museum in Wenceslas Square; the museum did not acquire historical objects until the 40s, when Romanticism arose. The institution of the museum was seen as a center for Czech nationalism. Serving as historian and secretary of the National Museum in 1841, František Palacký tried to balance natural science and history, as he described in his Treatise of 1841.
However, it wasn't until nearly a century that the National Museum’s historical treasures equaled its collection of natural science artifacts. The museum brought about an intellectual shift in Prague; the Bohemian nobility had, until this time, been prominent, both politically and fiscally, in scholarly and scientific groups. However, the National Museum was created to serve all the inhabitants of the land, lifting the stranglehold the nobility had had on knowledge; this was further accelerated by the historian František Palacký, who in 1827 suggested that the museum publish separate journals in German and Czech. The vast majority of scholarly journals were written in German, but within a few years the German journal had ceased publication, while the Czech journal continued for more than a century. In 1949, the national government took over the museum, detailed the museum's role and leadership in the Museum and Galleries Act of 1959. In May 1964, the Museum was turned into an organization of five professionally autonomous components: the Museum of Natural Science, the Historical Museum, the Naprstek Museum of Asia and American Cultures, the National Museum Library, the Central Office of Museology.
A sixth autonomous unit, the Museum of Czech Music, was established in 1976. According to their website, the National Museum contains several million items of material in three main parts: the natural Museum, the Historical Museum and the Library. In 2010, the museum moved their collections to Horní Počernice, it has departments of mineralogy, mycology, entomology and anthropology, as well as scientific laboratories. Important parts of the Medieval collection is jewelry, panel painting, wooden sculpture, weapons. In addition to their historical value, many of the objects held by this department contain a high artistic value. Examples of precious objects include: a silver tiara of a duke from the twelfth century. Fine Bohemian porcelain and glass collection represent before all the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as collection of painted portraits and miniature painting; the Department of Prehistory and Protohistory – Contains an rich collection of artifacts which were used daily thousands of years ago.
The curators of this collection were among the first Czech archeologists: J. L. Píč, curator of one of the collection from 1893-1911 is credited with conducting the first system archeological field exploration in Czechoslovakia; the department maintains collections in the field of classical archeology, however its main value is in the documentation of Greek and Roman arts and crafts. Among its most valuable objects are a painted dish of Nikosthenes, a glass bottle from the port of Puteolo, a gilded silver rhyton.archeology, concerned with the period from Neolithic times to the 10th century CE. The Collection of Classical Archeologybelongs to the same department; the Department of the Old Czech History has assembled numerous objects which trace the development of Czech state beginning from the Slavonic culture of 10th century up to the independent republic Czechoslovakia in 1918. This is done through the acquisition of objects which rec
Adorant from the Geißenklösterle cave
The Adorant from the Geißenklösterle cave is a 35,000-to-40,000-year-old section of mammoth ivory with a depiction of a human figure, found in the Geißenklösterle cave in the Swabian Jura near Blaubeuren, Germany. The front face has a human figure of uncertain sex in relief, with raised arms and outstretched legs, but no hands; the posture is interpreted as an expression of worship, why in German the figure is called an "adorant", a word meaning "worshipper". It has been claimed that a belt and sword can be seen, although these are natural features of the ivory. On the plate's reverse are rows of small notches; the piece is now in the Landesmuseum Württemberg, Stuttgart. It is 38 mm tall, 14 mm wide, 4.5 mm thick. Traces of manganese and ochre can be found on it by microscope analysis. Lion-man Venus figurines Venus of Hohle Fels Prehistoric art List of Stone Age art Joachim Hahn, 1980: "Eine aurignacienzeitliche Menschendarstellung aus dem Geißenklösterle bei Blaubeuren, Alb-Donau-Kreis". In: Denkmalpflege in Baden-Württemberg – Nachrichtenblatt der Landesdenkmalpflege, Vol. 9, Nr.
2, S. 56-58. Joachim Hahn, 1988: Die Geißenklösterle-Höhle im Achtal bei Blaubeuren, Stuttgart: Karl Theiss Verlag. C.–S. Holdermann, Müller-Beck, H. and Simon, U. 2001: Eiszeitkunst im süddeutschschweizerischen Jura: Anfänge der Kunst, Stuttgart: Karl Theiss Verlag. H. Müller-Beck und G. Albrecht, 1987: Die Anfänge der Kunst vor 30000 Jahren Theiss: Stuttgart. Article with excellent pictures of the Adorant
Venus of Willendorf
The Venus of Willendorf is an 11.1-centimetre-tall Venus figurine estimated to have been made 30,000 BCE. It was found on August 7, 1908 by a workman named Johann Veran or Josef Veram during excavations conducted by archaeologists Josef Szombathy, Hugo Obermaier and Josef Bayer at a paleolithic site near Willendorf, a village in Lower Austria near the town of Krems, it is carved from an oolitic limestone, not local to the area, tinted with red ochre. The figurine is now in the Naturhistorisches Museum in Austria; the figure is believed to have been carved during the European Upper Paleolithic, or "Old Stone Age", a period of prehistory starting around 30,000 BCE. A wide variety of dates have been proposed. Following a revised analysis of the stratigraphy of the site where the statuette was discovered, carried out in 1990, the figure was estimated to have been carved between 24,000 and 22,000 BCE. More recent estimates push the date back to between about 28,000 and 25,000 BCE. In a 2009 reexamination of the stratigraphy at the site, researchers estimated that the age of the archaeological layer in which the figurine was found is about 30,000 years before our time.
Similar sculptures, first discovered in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, are traditionally referred to in archaeology as "Venus figurines", due to the widely-held belief that depictions of nude women with exaggerated sexual features represented an early fertility fetish a mother goddess. The reference to Venus is metaphorical, since the figurines predate the mythological figure of Venus by many thousands of years; some scholars reject this terminology, instead referring to the statuette as the "Woman of" or "Woman from Willendorf". Christopher Witcombe criticizes the term: "the ironic identification of these figurines as'Venus' pleasantly satisfied certain assumptions at the time about the primitive, about women, about taste". Little is known about the Venus' origin, method of creation, or cultural significance; the purpose of the carving is the subject of much speculation. Like other similar sculptures, it never had feet, would not have stood on its own, although it might have been pegged into soft ground.
Parts of the body associated with fertility and childbearing have been emphasized, leading researchers to believe that the Venus of Willendorf may have been used as a fertility fetish. The figure has no visible face, her head being covered with circular horizontal bands of what might be rows of plaited hair, or a type of headdress. Catherine McCoid and LeRoy McDermott hypothesize that the figurines may have been created as self-portraits by women; this theory stems from the correlation of the proportions of the statues to how the proportions of women's bodies would seem if they were looking down at themselves, which would have been the only way to view their bodies during this period. They speculate that the complete lack of facial features could be accounted for by the fact that sculptors did not own mirrors; this reasoning has been criticized by Michael S. Bisson, who notes that water pools and puddles would have been readily-available natural mirrors for Paleolithic humans. Art of the Upper Paleolithic List of Stone Age art Christopher L. C. E. Witcombe, "Women in Prehistory:Venus of Willendorf".
Don Hitchcock: "Venus figures from the Stone Age - The Venus of Willendorf" The Invisible Sex: Uncovering the True Roles of Women in Prehistory by J. M. Adovasio, Olga Soffer and Jake Page, ISBN 978-0-06-117091-1, gives a new'view' of headdress as possible model for weaving a basket.
A mammoth is any species of the extinct genus Mammuthus, one of the many genera that make up the order of trunked mammals called proboscideans. The various species of mammoth were equipped with long, curved tusks and, in northern species, a covering of long hair, they lived from the Pliocene epoch into the Holocene at about 4,000 years ago, various species existed in Africa, Europe and North America. They were members of the family Elephantidae, which contains the two genera of modern elephants and their ancestors; the oldest representative of Mammuthus, the South African mammoth, appeared around 5 million years ago during the early Pliocene in what is now southern and eastern Africa. Descendant species of these mammoths moved north and continued to propagate into numerous subsequent species covering most of Eurasia before extending into the Americas at least 600,000 years ago; the last species to emerge, the woolly mammoth, developed about 400,000 years ago in East Asia, with some surviving on Russia's Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean until as as 3,700 to 4,000 years ago, still extant during the construction of the Great Pyramid of ancient Egypt.
The earliest known proboscideans, the clade that contains the elephants, existed about 55 million years ago around the Tethys Sea area. The closest relatives of the Proboscidea are the hyraxes; the family Elephantidae is known to have existed six million years ago in Africa, includes the living elephants and the mammoths. Among many now extinct clades, the mastodon is only a distant relative of the mammoths, part of the separate Mammutidae family, which diverged 25 million years before the mammoths evolved; the following cladogram shows the placement of the genus Mammuthus among other proboscideans, based on hyoid characteristics: Since many remains of each species of mammoth are known from several localities, it is possible to reconstruct the evolutionary history of the genus through morphological studies. Mammoth species can be identified from the number of enamel ridges on their molars. At the same time, the crowns of the teeth became longer, the skulls become higher from top to bottom and shorter from the back to the front over time to accommodate this.
The first known members of the genus Mammuthus are the African species Mammuthus subplanifrons from the Pliocene and Mammuthus africanavus from the Pleistocene. The former is thought to be the ancestor of forms. Mammoths entered Europe around 3 million years ago. Only its molars are known -- 10 enamel ridges. A population evolved 12–14 ridges and split off from and replaced the earlier type, becoming M. meridionalis. In turn, this species was replaced by the steppe mammoth, M. trogontherii, with 18–20 ridges, which evolved in East Asia ca. 1 million years ago. Mammoths derived from M. trogontherii evolved molars with 26 ridges 200,000 years ago in Siberia, became the woolly mammoth, M. primigenius. The Columbian mammoth, M. columbi, evolved from a population of M. trogontherii that had entered North America. A 2011 genetic study showed that two examined specimens of the Columbian mammoth were grouped within a subclade of woolly mammoths; this suggests that the two populations produced fertile offspring.
It suggested that a North American form known as "M. jeffersonii" may be a hybrid between the two species. By the late Pleistocene, mammoths in continental Eurasia had undergone a major transformation, including a shortening and heightening of the cranium and mandible, increase in molar hypsodonty index, increase in plate number, thinning of dental enamel. Due to this change in physical appearance, it became customary to group European mammoths separately into distinguishable clusters: Early Pleistocene – Mammuthus meridionalis Middle Pleistocene – Mammuthus trogontherii Late Pleistocene – Mammuthus primigeniusThere is speculation as to what caused this variation within the three chronospecies. Variations in environment, climate change, migration played roles in the evolutionary process of the mammoths. Take M. primigenius for example: Woolly mammoths lived in opened grassland biomes. The cool steppe-tundra of the Northern Hemisphere was the ideal place for mammoths to thrive because of the resources it supplied.
With occasional warmings during the ice age, climate would change the landscape, resources available to the mammoths altered accordingly. The word mammoth was first used in Europe during the early 17th century, when referring to maimanto tusks discovered in Siberia. John Bell, on the Ob River in 1722, said that mammoth tusks were well known in the area, they were called "mammon's horn" and were found in washed-out river banks. Some local people claimed to have seen a living mammoth, but they only came out at night and always disappeared under water when detected, he presented it to Hans Sloan who pronounced it an elephant's tooth. The folklore of some native peoples of Siberia, who would find mammoth bones, sometimes frozen mammoth bodies, in eroding river banks, had various interesting explanations for these finds. Among the Khanty people of the Irtysh River basin, a belief existed that the mammoth was some kind of a water spirit. According to other Khanty, the mammoth was a creature that lived underground, burrowing its tunnels as it went, would die if it accidentally came to the surface.
The concept of the mammoth as an underground creature was known to the Chinese, who received some mammoth ivory from the
The Angara River is a 1,779-kilometer-long river in Siberia, which traces a course through Russia's Irkutsk Oblast and Krasnoyarsk Krai. It is the river, the headwater tributary of the Yenisei River, it was known as the Lower or Nizhnyaya Angara. Below its junction with the Ilim, it was known as the Upper Tunguska and, with the names reversed, as the Lower Tunguska. Leaving Lake Baikal near the settlement of Listvyanka, the Angara flows north past the Irkutsk Oblast cities of Irkutsk, Angarsk and Ust-Ilimsk, it turns west, enters the Krasnoyarsk Krai, joins the Yenisei near Strelka. Four dams of major hydroelectric plants - constructed since the 1950s - exploit the waters of the Angara: Irkutsk Dam, forming the Irkutsk Reservoir, which floods the valley of the river from its source to Irkutsk, raises the water level in Lake Baikal Bratsk Dam, forming the Bratsk Reservoir Ust-Ilimsk Dam, at Ust-Ilimsk, forming the Ust-Ilimsk Reservoir Boguchany Dam, at KodinskThe reservoirs of these dams flooded a number of villages along the Angara and its tributaries, as well as numerous agricultural areas in the river valley.
Due to its effects on the way of life of the rural residents of the Angara valley, dam construction was criticized by a number of Soviet intellectuals, in particular by the Irkutsk writer Valentin Rasputin - both in his novel Farewell to Matyora and in his non-fiction book Siberia, Siberia. The Angara is navigable by modern watercraft on several isolated sections: from Lake Baikal to Irkutsk; the section between the Ust-Ilimsk Dam and the Boguchany Dam has not been navigable due to rapids. However, with the completion of the Boguchany Dam, filling of its reservoir, at least part of this section of the river will become navigable as well. Nonetheless, this will not enable through navigation from Lake Baikal to the Yenisei, as none of the existing three dams has been provided with a ship lock or a boat lift, nor will the Boguchany Dam have one. Despite the absence of a continuous navigable waterway, the Angara and its tributary the Ilim were of considerable importance for Russian colonization of Siberia since ca.
1630, when they formed important water routes connecting the Yenisey with Lake Baikal and the Lena River. The river lost its transportation significance after the construction of an overland route between Krasnoyarsk and Irkutsk and the Trans-Siberian Railway; the Angara has the following tributaries: Taseyeva, Oka, Ilim, Kova and Irkeneyeva. "Upper and Lower Angara",'Encyclopædia Britannica, 9th ed. Encyclopædia Britannica, 9th ed. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1878, p. 26. Angara River, southeast-central Russia Angara River Angara River photo Map of region showing mouth of Angara River Map book of region showing mouth of Angara River Photo of river and dam