Venus of Willendorf, c 28.000-23.000 BC, Natural History Museum, Vienna
This figure of a voluptuous female might seem uninteresting or even ugly to the modern viewer. However, this limestone statuette, known today as Venus of Willendorf is one of the most important artefacts that survived from the prehistory of human kind as it was created sometime between 28.000 to 23.000 BC.
The emphasis on the belly, the breasts and the hip is evident in a series of mid-upper Palaeolithic figurines representing females and it is believed that they were linked to fertility and pregnancy. Recent theories give them other meanings and it is possible that they served a variety of purposes and functions.
This ball shaped, faceless and small (it's just 4 inches/ 10 cm tall) statuette is one of the few remains from the beginnings of the human past and its inevitable mystery is both a challenge for the contemporary researcher and a true magic for the modern viewer.