Mothers of Time

Figurines: The Couple

The artist has carved two bodies, back to back, symmetrically arched, and joined at the top of the heads, shoulders and lower body. One represents a woman; the other could be an animal. A hollow space separates the two heads, suggesting that the figurine was used as a pendant.

In profile and from the front, the woman's body exemplifies - crudely - the main anatomical characteristics of the Palaeolithic Venuses of Western Europe. The treatment of the legs resembles that noted for The Two-Headed Lady. Here too, the upper limbs are absent. On the head, incisions serve to set off the hair or headgear and, curiously, most of the face has been nicked.

With its back to the woman is the other figure, which has elongated, sinuous anatomical features that are difficult to associate with any known genre. Although the torso and lower body offer limited detail for interpretation, the face brings to mind a beast -- real or mythical, we do not know.

Carved on a fragment of greenish-yellow serpentine and highly polished, the piece is approximately 47 millimetres high.