Both objects are three-dimensional sculptures of nude or nearly nude women. Each is closely associated with, even iconic of, a particular area and time period. About both figures, there is more speculation than fact.
The Willendorf Woman is the older by far but this type of carved figure had become unknown after the society that produced them died out. The first example known in modern times was found by an archaeologist in 1908 near Willendorf, Austria hence the name. It is now in Vienna's natural history museum.
About 40 other similar figures, some incomplete, almost all female, have since come to light. (There are about 80 more fragments.) Made of limestone and decorated with red ochre pigment in Paleolithic times, about 28,000 to 25,000 B.C.E., the first figure is about 11.1 cm high.
Both "Venus" and "Willendorf" are problematic terms. Because she is female and nude, the name of the Roman goddess was applied. As she predates Roman civilization by many...
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