X Close

Museums & Collections Blog

Home

News and musings from the UCL Culture team

Menu

Talking the talk

RachaelSparks23 April 2012

Behind each dig and archaeological display is a dilemma. Just how do we translate a distant and unattainable past into a recognizable product for present consumption? When somebody sees an object, their first reaction is usually ‘what is it, and what is it for?’ It’s our job to try and answer those kinds of questions.

Giving something a name is easy enough; its the second part that provides the challenge. To be perfectly honest, we don’t really know why figurines of fat naked women were all the rage in prehistoric Europe. Is there any real reason to argue for their use as ancient fertility symbols over pornographic aides, other than the desire to seem professional rather than voyeuristic?

The Venus of Willendorf. Perhaps the most famous fat naked female figurine of them all. Mother-goddess or the first mother-in-law joke?

(more…)

Skip to toolbar