Stone Age Venus figurines were totems of survival, not sex, study suggests

A new theory about the iconic figurines depicting Venus has suggested that the sculptures represent how climate change affected humans over 30,000 years ago.

The Venus figurines are statuettes depicting obese women that, up until now, were thought to have been associated with fertility and beauty. A recent study published in “Obesity” has suggested instead that the figurines are totems of survival in extreme conditions.

Unlike the challenges of global warming people face today, humans 38,000 to 14,000 years ago struggled with colder temperatures due to advancing glaciers. This made it harder for people to meet their nutritional needs, and population sizes began to dwindle, according to the study.

Fat is a form of stored energy, said study author Dr. Richard Johnson, professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and that fat can be lifesaving when food is not available, especially to pregnant women.


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