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ANALYZING FERTILITY AND ATTRACTION IN THE PALEOLITHIC: THE VENUS FIGURINES

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Abstract

Countless hypotheses have focused on the enigmatic “Venuses,” but most are not testable. The current authors investigate a hypothesis suggested by R.D. Guthrie involving the waist-to-hip ratio. This measurement determines fertility, beauty, and health in modern females; a 0.7 indicates cross-cultural beauty and fertility. Guthrie argued that the statuettes share an average waist-to-hip ratio of 0.655, indicating that Paleolithic males preferred curvier women. We sought to test this and analyze regional data. Our mean was significantly different than Guthrie’s and we found evidence for regional differences. While some statuettes may have served as Paleo-erotica, it seems unlikely that they all did. 

About the Authors

A. J. Tripp
University of Victoria, PO Box 3050, STN CSC, Victoria, BC Canada, V8W 3P5
Canada


N. E. Schmidt
MSC 3CQ, New Mexico State University, PO Box 30001, Las Cruces, NM, 88001, USA
United States


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For citation:


Tripp A.J., Schmidt N.E. ANALYZING FERTILITY AND ATTRACTION IN THE PALEOLITHIC: THE VENUS FIGURINES. Archaeology, Ethnology & Anthropology of Eurasia. 2013;54(2):54-60. (In Russ.)

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ISSN 1563-0110 (Print)