Mothers of Time

Figurines: The Two-Headed Lady

This piece portrays a woman's body that has two heads. It is the smallest of the figurines found by Louis Alexandre Jullien at the Balzi Rossi, and one of the smallest specimens in all Gravettian female statuary from Western Europe.

Size notwithstanding, the artist has given a very refined rendering of the customary anatomical proportions, with an obvious concern for symmetry. The breasts are overemphasized, as is the belly, which is disproportionate and surrounded by incisions rendering it almost separate from the rest of the body. The tapered legs are distinguished by a single line. Like The Armless Lady, this piece has no arms.

The two heads have a perforation between them, which suggests that the piece was used as a pendant. They are attached at the shoulders or base of the necks, as well as by the arch over the pendant hole. The heads have no obvious facial features, although a few lines and fine incisions serve to indicate hair or headgear.

Made of greenish-yellow serpentine and highly polished, the figurine is 27.5 millimetres high.