‘Venus Figurines’ are archeological artifacts from the Upper Paleolithic era. They were first discovered in the late 1800s in France and Italy and have since been found all over Europe. They are the earliest examples of art that depicts humans and were made by nomadic hunter-gatherers. The name ‘Venus’ was applied to the first figurine discovered by Marquis de Vibraye, who compared it to an image of the Roman goddess Venus.
Currently, a researcher from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus believes he’s collected enough evidence to solve the mystery behind these curious totems. Johnson, a professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine specializing in renal disease and hypertension, said, “Some of the earliest art in the world are these mysterious figurines of overweight women from the time of hunter-gatherers in Ice Age Europe where you would not expect to see obesity at all.” “We show that these figurines correlate to times of extreme nutritional stress.”
He also said, “We propose they conveyed ideals of body size for young women, and especially those who lived in proximity to glaciers. We found that body size proportions were highest when the glaciers were advancing, whereas obesity decreased when the climate warmed and glaciers retreated.”