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The Surprising Importance of Women in the Paleolithic Era as Shown in Art Essay

  • Submitted by: hexum88
  • on November 18, 2013
  • Category: History
  • Length: 763 words

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Below is an essay on "The Surprising Importance of Women in the Paleolithic Era as Shown in Art" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

One primary way archeologist and historians try to find out more about a civilization’s cultural beliefs and social structure is analyzing its art. When it comes to Paleolithic era, specifically the Homo sapiens of this era, which evolved between 100,000 to 120,000 years ago (Sayre 5), we do not have the luxury of the written word. So we must rely on the sometimes simple yet profound artwork from this era that has been discovered. Although we may never know exactly what purpose each piece of art has, we can draw some very strong conclusions about them. One being that women were held in very high regard and played a crucial role in the Paleolithic era and were often immortalized in its artwork. The example I will be using is also one of the most famous of this early artwork which is shown in Figure 1.3 Venus of Willendorf, in page 6 of our text, The Humanities: Culture, Continuity & Change Volume 1: Prehistory to 1600.
Besides wall paintings, one of the earliest forms of art by the Homo sapiens of the Paleolithic era were small, carved, stone figurines. “Among the most remarkable of these sculptural artifacts are the large number of female figurines” (Sayre 6). There are two other observations that can be taken from this that support the idea of women’s high importance in this era. One being that the Homo sapiens took a skill, carving stone, they had primarily used for making tools and weapons which they used for their survival as a hunter-gather, and they utilized it to make small sculptures, which were very detailed in its time. The second observation is “female figurines vastly outnumbered representations of males in the Paleolithic era” (Sayre 6). It is not clear if one woman held any power over an entire tribe, but what is clear is that Homo sapiens made a conscious effort to immortalize the essence of women with its artwork. The men may have even felt women were as important as their need to survive by hunting and gathering food.
A fascination that man has...

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"The Surprising Importance of Women in the Paleolithic Era as Shown in Art". Anti Essays. 11 Dec. 2018


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The Surprising Importance of Women in the Paleolithic Era as Shown in Art. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 11, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://snehaedu.com/free-essays/The-Surprising-Importance-Of-Women-In-547247.html