Because I am a Woman

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Feminist Art Friday Feature: Stone Age Women

By: Ally B.

It has always been assumed that found art from the Stone Age was created by men. However, a recent study has concluded that those creating the famed prehistoric cave paintings, which were often signed with the handprints of the artists, may actually have been women. Anthropologists reached this new conclusion about their creators after measuring the length of the fingers and finding that index and ring fingers to be of approximately the same length, (a feature typically associated with women). Applying this theory to 32 handprints found in caves across France and Spain, anthropoligst Dean Snow was able to attribute 24 of the handprints to women. (1)

Cave paintings weren’t the only form of prehistoric art women left their mark on. The famed Venus of Willendorf, a limestone statuette thought to have been created between 24,000 and 22,000 BCE is another possible example of early art that may have been created by women. Some scholars hypothesize that the figure may have been a self-portrait, depicting what a woman of that time might see when they looked down at their bodies. (2)

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