Goddess of Dolni Vestonice
5 inches x 3 inches x
12.7 cm x 7.62 cm x 8.89 cm
Museum Replica by Morning Glory Zell
Some assembly required, but what a fun replica for
your office desk or that of a colleague.
The Goddess, the double breast pendant, and a female skull all fit nicely into
Comes with info card.
Our prehistoric roots are veiled in mystery. Bare bones and artifacts are the
clues we use to uncover their secrets. This investigation starts right after
World War II, with the initial excavation near the present town of Brno in the
land that is now known as the Czech Republic.
The three pieces in this set once belonged to a woman we call "Crooked
Fox", a Shaman of the Ice Age and the earliest individual we have been able
to identify from prehistoric times. (In the novel, Plains of Passage, author
Jean Auel calls her "S'Armuna".) She lived 27,000 years ago, in a
little village of about 100-120 mammoth-hunters. The archaeological site is
called Dolni Vestonice. The houses in her village were all made of mammoth
bones, covered with the hides of the great beasts. A wall of such bones
surrounded the village, and a little stream ran through it.
Crooked Fox lived in a little hut further uphill, where she had the earliest
known pottery kiln. Here she made totemic sculptures of animals and female
figurines out of clay, and baked them in her fire. Most dramatic of these is the
black goddess included in this set. Approximately 4.5 inches tall, it was made
of loess mixed with powdered mammoth bone, then fired hard in the pit kiln. Four
holes were made in the top of her head, and these certainly were intended for
the insertion of hair, feathers, or even leaves or flowers.
She also had bone flutes and whistles, and necklaces of carved beads and
seashells. A number of ivory beads were carved in the shape of two breasts with
a headless neck and enigmatic markings. These comprised a necklace of eight
beads in ascending sizes, the smallest being less than half an inch wide. In her
hut were also found little portraits of her, similar to sculpted portraits from
other sites, and clearly by a different sculptor--possibly a traveling portrait
artist. One of these is a beautiful ivory head, showing her hair tied up in a
coif. What makes these particularly interesting (and identifies the portraits as
being of her) is that in each one, the left side of her face sags, as from a
stroke, injury or arthritis. And this is where the "crooked" part of
her name comes from.
When Crooked Fox died, her people buried her ceremoniously in the center of the
village, curled into a fetal position, as was the custom. Her body had been
colored with red ocher to give it a semblance of life, and she wore a necklace
of beads like the ones found in the hut. In her hands they placed her totem
animal--an arctic fox. An arrowhead was positioned between the fox and her
forehead. Finally, the shoulder blades of a mammoth were laid over her grave.
And then the people abandoned their village, never to return. No one dared go
back into her hut to claim her tools, musical instruments, jewelry--or the last
firing of figurines still in her cooling kiln. All was still in place when the
site was discovered in 1949--including her fingerprints in the little dabs of
clay she used to hold the figurines in place for the firing! And when her skull
was brought out of its 27,000-year-old grave, it was found that the left side
was crooked and misshapen--exactly as depicted in the portraits.
And so this ancient Shaman attained an immortality that could be envied by
anyone, since she left us her body, her personal effects, her art, her
fingerprints, her portrait--and in fact, her identity. Will as much of us be
known to our descendants 27,000 years hence-- Crooked Fox speaks to us across
The three artifacts comprising this set were precisely sculpted by Oberon and
Morning Glory Zell from the originals in a museum exhibit.
Goddesses & Queens