Junot Diaz stay not fucking up. This is a really good interview.
Woman holding a bison horn, from Laussel, France, ca. 25,000-20,000 BCE. Painted limestone, 1’ 6” high. This is one of the oldest known relief sculptures, and depicts a woman who holds a bison horn and whose left arm draws attention to her belly. Scholars continue to debate the meaning of the gesture and the horn.
The Laussel woman is one of the earliest relief sculptures known. The sculptor employed a stone chisel to cut into the relatively flat surface of a large rock and create an image that projects from its background. Today the relief is exhibited in a museum, divorced from its original context, a detached piece of what once was a much more imposing monument. When the relief was discovered, the Laussel woman was part of a great stone block that measured about 140 cubic feet.
The carved block stood in the open air in front of a Paleolithic rock shelter. Rock shelters were a common type of dwelling for early humans, along with huts and the mouths of caves. The Laussel relief is one of many examples of open-air art in the Old Stone Age. The popular notions that early humans dwelled exclusively in caves and that all Paleolithic art comes from mysterious dark caves are false.
-Gardner’s Art Through the Ages: The Western Perspective, Volume I.
Courtesy & currently located at the Musée d’Aquitaine in Bordeaux, France. Photos taken by Wiki Commons user 120.