miércoles, 17 de marzo de 2010

The “Prey-Mother” Hypothesis - A New Interpretation of Paleolithic Feminine Imagery


The pregnant therianthropomorph from Laugerie-Basse rock shelter, Dordogne, with newly observed features in color.

My most recent article to delve into the significance of Paleolithic feminine imagery - “Supernatural Pregnancies” – was published in the English, French and Spanish, 2010 editions of Arts & Cultures - a book published annually by the Barbier-Mueller Museums of Geneva and Barcelona. Along with an earlier peer-reviewed article on the implications of the simplest paleolithic feminine figurines - the essay builds a case for a new interpretation of a large part of the Paleolithic feminine canon. This re-interpretation, which could be dubbed the “Prey-Mother” hypothesis, is based on new readings of such iconic works of Paleolithic art as the “Woman under the Reindeer” from Laugerie-Basse (Figs. 1-3) and the engraving of a pregnant therianthropomorph following a horse from Étiolles (Fig. 4). Although the new theory is based on internal evidence, it is also in keeping with women’s known roles in cold-weather hunter-gatherer economies... Duncan Caldwell