Venus of Willendorf

Venus of Willendorf

One of the earliest objects created by man is the Venus of Willendorf - a statuette of a female figure estimated to have been made between about 28,000 and 25,000 BCE.

Although little information exists as to its purpose, it is one of a number of representations of female figures surviving from the Paleolithic period. It may have been a fertility symbol which shows the primordial urges towards survival and growth that connect humans to their landscapes.

Venus of Willendorf

Willendorf II, 7th August 1908: discovery of the Venus I of Willendorf. The man standing at the findspot of the figurine is J. Bayer.

Johann Veran, one of the workers, found the statuette. Szombathy, who stood nearest to Veran, saw the figurine first and showed it to Bayer, who worked not far away from Veran. Szombathy took some photographs of the situation, as shown here.

Photo: J. Szombathy; © Archive of the Department of Prehistory, Museum of Natural History, Vienna; nr. 4796) Source: Nigst et al., 2008