12 September 2022
My thanks to the publishers and The Book Publicist for my copy of this book
5,000 years ago, rare and precious statues of faceless women with hourglass figures, sturdy hips and generous breasts surfaced across Europe. Spanning thousands of years and nurturing many a fantasy, they are known as the prehistoric Venus figurines. But what were the women who inspired these artefacts really like?
For 150 years researchers offered no archaeological insights into the daily lives of prehistoric women and underestimated their role in society. In fact, these women became imprisoned by clichés. Prehistoric man hunted, went on adventures, invented, created and drew, whereas the role of prehistoric women was limited to educating children and carrying out domestic chores. That’s all there was to say about it, or almost.
Over the past fifteen years a new generation of researchers – many of whom are women – have shaken up this model. By establishing groundbreaking analysis protocols and defining new excavation methods, these scientists are finally able to make the invisible visible. It is thanks to their tenacity that the essential and even prestigious role of prehistoric women is emerging. For the first time ever these ancient women are being resurrected before our very eyes, shedding light on a new theory of our origins!
📖 My Review..
What an interesting little book this turned out to be which took me quite by surprise not just by the research which has been undertaken but also by the very readable way in which it is presented. We know very little about our female ancestors and can only guess at what they felt about life, relationships, children and their place in a male dominated world but this well researched look at the evidence presented by archaeology shines a new light on Lady Sapiens.
Divided into seven chapters with the following headings:
The Return of Lady Sapien
The Real face of Lady Sapien
Life, Pleasure, Seduction
Sensuality and Sexuality
Starting a family
Women on All Fronts
I dipped into and out of the book throughout the various chapters and found something I didn't know before which made me ponder and think about the stereotypes we attach to our prehistoric sisters.
Originally published in French, it has been expertly translated by Philippa Hurd.
About the Authors
Thomas Cirotteau is an author and director. He created and wrote the documentary Lady Sapiens.
Dr Jennifer Kerner teaches prehistory in the anthropology department at Paris-Nanterre University and is responsible for multimedia communications.
Éric Pincas is a historian and journalist. He co-wrote the documentary Lady Sapiens.
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