The female body, the first human self-representation

Anthropomorphic Female Idol

This small female figurine displays a pubic triangle chiseled along a dotted line. It is one of the few sexual symbols from the Calcolithic period. Given the realism of such figurines it may be inferred that their creators were more interested in the role of the individual than that of the group and, in this case, more for female individuals. Nevertheless, we know nothing of their meaning, although they are considered to be the product of a symbolic language. The main question is whether they represented idols or actual women. Previously, they were interpreted to be the images of gods, or of the mother God, or as allusions to fertility. Today, all these models have been called into question.

On a related note, it doesn´t seem to be a coincidence that the first anthropomorphic representations, the Paleolithic Venuses, were of women and extended throughout Europe; this fact has lead to the affirmation that the first human self-representation was the body of a woman. Its name tendentiously alludes to sexuality and fertility, characteristics related to the Roman goddess who gives it its name. These early manifestations may have been related to fertility, that is, to a woman´s ability to create life, an interpretation that has been challenged today. From Calcolithic period onward, male figurines will progressively gain in importance, possibly reflecting a shift, unbeknownst to us, which also may have originated from the very civilization that produced them.