Researchers say mankind’s oldest sculptures may be related to climate change, the human diet and spirituality.
One of the earliest examples of art in the world, the mysterious statues of the goddess of the goddess were carved some 30,000 years ago, which has left scientists curious and troubled for almost two centuries.
Until recently, a researcher from the University of Colorado claimed to have gathered enough evidence to solve the mystery behind these strange statues.
Hand-drawn paintings of overweight or pregnant women, appearing in most art history books have long been regarded as symbols of fertility or beauty. But according to Richard Johnson, lead author of the new study, the key to understanding the statues lies in the … climate change and diet.
“Some of the world’s first works of art are mysterious figurines of overweight women from hunter-gatherers in Europe, where you could not have expected they may have been obese. These figurines correlate with times of extreme nutritional stress, “said Johnson, a professor at the University of Colorado.
Modern humans first appeared in Europe during the warming period about 48,000 years ago. Called the Aurignacian Period, they hunted reindeer, horses and mammoths with bone spears. In the summer, these first people eat berries, fish, nuts and plants. But then there was a change in the climate.
As the temperature dropped, the ice sheets soared and catastrophe struck. During the coldest months, temperatures drop to 10 – 15 degrees C. Some hunter-gatherers died, others moved south, some sought refuge in the woods.
It was in these moments of despair that the obese goddess of the goddess appeared. They are 6 to 16cm long and are made of stone, ivory, horn or sometimes clay. Some are strung and worn as amulets.
Johnson and other researchers measured the statues’ waist-hip and waist-shoulder ratios. They found that statues near glaciers tend to be the most obese compared to statues that are further away. They believe the statues represent an ideal type of body for these difficult living conditions.
“We proposed that they used statues to convey body size ideals to young women and especially those who live near glaciers. is highest when glaciers increase, while obesity decreases as the climate warms and glaciers recede.
Obesity according to researchers has become an accepted condition. An obese woman in a period of scarcity can conceive a child better than a child with malnutrition. Thus, the figurines of the goddess may have been imbued with spiritual meaning – a devotion involving magic that can protect a woman during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding.
Many small statues of the goddess of the goddess have good wear and tear, indicating that they are heirlooms passed down from mother to daughter over generations. Women entering puberty or in the early stages of pregnancy may have been given the statues in the hope of bringing in the desired body mass to ensure a successful delivery.
The increased fat provides an energy source during pregnancy through the weaning of the baby and also a lot of necessary insulation.
Johnson said, promoting obesity, ensures that there is a chance to continue for another generation in this most precarious climate.
“The figurines emerge as a thought tool to help improve the fertility and survival of mothers and babies. The aesthetics of art thus have an important function in pressing health and survival to adapt to the increasingly extreme climatic conditions at that time, “Johnson added.
The team’s success in gathering evidence to support its theory comes from applying measurements and medical science to archaeological data, and behavioral models of anthropology.
“These types of interdisciplinary approaches are creating momentum in the sciences and are very promising. Our team also has other topics on the arts of Ice Age and migration within its research sights. “, Johnson stressed.