The Women of Brassempouy: A Century of Research and Interpretation

  title={The Women of Brassempouy: A Century of Research and Interpretation},
  author={Randall A. White},
  journal={Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory},
  • Randall A. White
  • Published 30 November 2006
  • History
  • Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory
The discovery of female figurines at Brassempouy in the 1890's would launch more than a century of debate and interpretation concerning Paleolithic representations of women. The figurines emerged from the ground into a colonial intellectual and socio-political context nearly obsessed with matters of race. This early racial interpretive frame would only be replaced in the mid 20th century, when prehistorians turned to questions such as fertility and womanhood.The first figurines were discovered… Expand
Science, the Media, and Interpretations of Upper Paleolithic Figurines
Using the recent discovery of the Hohle Fels figurine as a catalyst, in this article we briefly review the history of scholarship regarding Upper Paleolithic figurines that are often referred to asExpand
Paleolithic Art: A Cultural History
In this article we review the history of the terms and ideas that have been used to conceptualize Paleolithic art since the end of the 19th century. Between 1900 and 1970, prehistoric representationsExpand
A Cladistics Analysis Exploring Regional Patterning of the Anthropomorphic Figurines from the Gravettian
Numerous studies have interpreted the anthropomorphic “Venus” statuettes of the Gravettian. However, few of these studies have scrutinized the figurines at an individual level or used quantitativeExpand
Fat, Desire and Disgust in the Colonial Imagination
  • C. Forth
  • Psychology, Art
  • History workshop journal : HWJ
  • 2012
A complex and wide-ranging series of similarities and differences, identifications and refusals can be traced between British and French perceptions of their own bodies and desires and the shortcomings they saw in foreign cultures are traced. Expand
Cro‐Magnon and Khoi‐San: Constant Roux's Racialized Relief Sculptures of Prehistoric Artists
Constant Roux's (1865–1942) relief sculptures depicting Stone Age humans, contemporary “primitives” and chimpanzees form a frieze around the Institute of Human Paleontology, which was founded inExpand
Prehistoric Art as a Boundary Object: Technology and Temporality of South African Petroglyphs
Decades ago I argued for the limited analytic purchase of the term “art.” I was then primarily concerned with the relatively recent invention of the present day category; the lack of local andExpand
Paleolithic Art Studies at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century: A Loss of Innocence
In the past two decades, several scholars have suggested that Paleolithic art studies have been undergoing a revolution. This disciplinary transformation is generally related to the discovery of newExpand
The problematic construction of 'Palaeolithic Man': The Old Stone Age and the difficulties of the comparative method, 1859-1914.
  • C. Manias
  • Philosophy, Medicine
  • Studies in history and philosophy of biological and biomedical sciences
  • 2015
This paper examines how a series of authors engaged with problems in the comparative method when they attempted to place human development within this deep prehistoric past, and highlights the changing interactions between the Victorian deep time sciences and the 'sciences of man. Expand
Premières observations sur le gisement gravettien à statuettes féminines d'Amiens-Renancourt 1 (Somme)
EnglishThe Renancourt district, located to the west of the town of Amiens, has been known in archaeological literature since the beginning of the 20th century through work carried out by V. CommontExpand
Identification of a possible engraved Venus from Předmostí, Czech Republic
One Gravettian feminine representation e the schematic Venus of Predmosti e is so different from all the others that it has always been regarded as unique. The engraving, which was closely examinedExpand


Victorians and Africans: The Genealogy of the Myth of the Dark Continent
In Heart of Darkness, Marlow says that Africa is no longer the "blank space" on the map that he had once daydreamed over. "It had got filled since my boyhood with rivers and lakes and names.... ItExpand
Prehistoric Art: The Symbolic Journey of Humankind
While some prehistoric sites - notably the painted caves at Lascaux in France and at Altamira in northern Spain - are familiar, many more such places are almost unknown. In fact, remains left byExpand
Fouilles a Brassempouy, en 1896
Fouilles a Brassempouy, en i896.1 -Several notices have appeared during the last three or four years of the discovery of statuettes and other paleolithic remains at Brassempouy in southwesternExpand
Lipreading: remembering Saartjie Baartman
This paper moves towards a retracing of an imagined ‘metanarrative’ on race and gender in emergent sciences of human difference. It is a specific bid to locate a series of ideas on transcendentExpand
Prehistoric Venuses: Symbols of Motherhood or Womanhood?
Upper Paleolithic Venus figurines are traditionally explained as symbols glorifying female fertility. This study suggests the hypothesis that Venuses represent women throughout their entire adultExpand
Black Bodies, White Bodies: Toward an Iconography of Female Sexuality in Late Nineteenth-Century Art, Medicine, and Literature
  • S. Gilman
  • History, Medicine
  • Critical Inquiry
  • 1985
It is apparent that, when individuals are shown within a work of art, the ideologically charged iconographic nature of the representation dominates, and it dominates in a very specific manner. Expand
The “Venus” Figurines: Textiles, Basketry, Gender, and Status in the Upper Paleolithic
Research on Gravettian textiles and basketry informs our understanding of Upper Paleolithic ideology and yields new insights or one component of Stone Age material culture-the Venus figurines.Expand
Hottentot, Bushman, Kaffir: Taxonomic Tendencies in Nineteenth-Century Racial Iconography
In her perceptive study of scientific racism in Great Britain, Nancy Stepan notes that a fundamental question about the history of racism in the first half of the nineteenth century is why it wasExpand
Upper Palaeolithic figures as a reflection of human morphology and social organization
Whilst there is no evidence that human representations in Palaeolithic art are an accurate reflection of contemporary social demography, they can yield valuable data on Palaeolithic populations andExpand
The Typology of Female Figurines of the Kostenki Paleolithic Culture
The recent field work of Soviet archeologists has produced many interesting examples of Paleolithic art. In particular, the material on sculptural representations of the female has been appreciablyExpand