Lions, and Tigers, and Bears!
In the Beginning, God Was a Woman
- Mary Kilbourne Matossian
Venus of Hohle Fels
Venus of Hohle Fels (Germany)
c. 35,000 BCE




















Female aurochs and a "Chinese horse," Lascaux, ca. 16,000 - 14,000 BCE.


Some 300 animal figures are depicted at Lascaux cave; including horses, rhinoceros, lions, buffalo, mammoth, reindeer, ibex, stags, arrochs, a red panther, and an engraved owl.










virtual tour of Lascaux












Lascaux Lamp

Lamp found at Lascaux cave, buried in the floor of the Shaft at Lascaux by l'Abbé Glory, ca.19,000 BCE.
Red sandstone, 8 3/4 inches long by 4 3/16 inches wide and 1 1/4 inches thick.











Artist's rendition of prehistoric scaffolding











Shaft of the Dead Man, Lascaux

The "Shaft of the Dead Man," Rhinoceros, wounded man, and disemboweled bison, Lascaux, ca. 16,000 - 14,000 BCE.























Chauvet Cave,
Vallon-Pont-D'Arc, Ardeche Gorge, France


Jean Marie Chauvet in the cave after its discovery in 1994












Horses and rhinos, Chauvet

Aurochs, horses, and rhinoceroses, wall painting in the Chauvet Cave, France, ca. 30,000 - 28,000 BCE.











Current entrance to Chauvet Cave












Werner Herzog, Cave of Forgotten Dreams











Horses, Chauvet cave
Horses, Chauvet cave painting, ca. 30,000 - 28,000 BCE.











Felines, Chauvet cave,
ca. 30,000 - 28,000 BCE
Bear, Chavuet cave, ca. 30,000 - 28,000 BCE.











Engraved Horse, Chauvet cave, ca. 30,000 - 28,000 BCE.
Engraved Stag, Lascaux, ca. 16,000 - 14,000 BCE.
Similarities between Prehistoric cave markings
  • Abundant and varied images of animals
  • Animals rendered naturalistically and with skill
  • Animals typically illustrated in profile
  • Although figures rendered with exacting detail, no attempt to depict ground or background
  • Tendency to place images high on cave wall surface & out of reach
  • Images of humans are rare
  • When human figure is depicted, it is abstract in comparison to depictions of animals











Cave bear altar at Chauvet
Cave Bear Skull Altar, Chauvet


Animism = the belief that nature is filled with spirits











Womanly form with Bison, Chauvet Cave


Werner Herzog, Cave of Forgotten Dreams

42:30 and 1:07:20











Woman of Willendorf, Austria, ca. 28,000 - 25,000 BCE. Limestone, 4 3/8" high.


More on the Discovery of the Woman of Wilendorf











Venus of Berekhart Ram
Venus of Tan-Tan
Venus of Berekhat Ram
c. 230,000 - 700,000 BCE
Venus of Tan-Tan
c. 200,000 - 500,000 BCE or later











Hohle Fels
Venus of Dolni Vestonice
Venus of Hohle Fels (Germany)
c. 35,000 BCE
Venus of Dolni Vestonice
(Czech Republic)
c. 26,000 - 24,000 BCE











Venus of Moravany
Venus of Lespugue
Back of the Venus of Lespugue
Venus of Moravany
(Czech Republic)
c. 24,000 - 22,000 BCE
Venus of Lespugue
c. 23,000 BCE











Woman of Willendorf and the Venus of Lespuge,
Mammoth ivory, Height 7 13/16".
Woman from Brassempouy, France, c. 30,000 BCE. Ivory, height 1 1/4".










modern pregnant woman
Woman of Willendorf, ca. 28,000 - 25,000 BCE.