When she was discovered in the summer of 2009, this charming little figure was considered the earliest representation of a human-being found in Scotland. Excavated at the Links of Noltland, Orkney, the Westray Wifie raised many questions about her use and significance to the people of the time.
For around 5000 years, she lay hidden in the decaying rubble of a Neolithic farmhouse, which had once stood, surrounded by impressive boundary walls, in the middle of a productive network of fields. Later it appears that its use changed, and it may have served as a storehouse or animal pen. The house walls began to collapse at some point, and the Stone Age people living and working the land put the site to use as a midden. It was amongst this midden debris and rubble that archaeologists found the precious little figure of the Orkney Venus.
Her location amongst the midden material suggests she was placed there after the farmhouse fell into disuse as a dwelling, possibly as an offering.
Several theories have arisen about her original function, including use as a pendant with the cord wrapped into the groove of her neck. Made with decoration on front and back, it seems her maker intended her to be viewed from all angles. Perhaps as a toy or a deity. However, there is little evidence of wear from being handled or of a cord having been tied onto her, suggesting she found her resting place shortly after being created.
Smoke fired Terracotta
Approx 45 mm tall 30 mm wide 15 mm depth.
When choosing a colour variation, please be aware that the colour and mottling vary with each Venus, giving each one an individual character due to the firing process. But we will select your Venus according to your preference.
This goddess has been handmade in a small pottery workshop in Northumberland.
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