top of page

VENUS of Galgenberg

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

36.000 BCE, Stratzing, Austria

Venus of Galgenberg

  • also: „Fanny“ or "Venus of Stratzing"

  • size: 7,2 cm

  • weight: 10g

  • material: green Serpentine schist

  • Place of discovery: Stratzing, Lower Austria

  • Found in 1988

  • comes from the archaeological culture of the Aurignacians

  • Special feature: next to the Venus of the Hohlefels, she's the oldest recognised female sculpture and oldest stone sculpture in the world

„Dancing Shaman“

The left arm is raised, the right hand rests on the thigh, in a ritual or dancing posture.

"Dancing shaman" is how Max Dashu, the US herstorian, had called her when she visited the Natural History Museum.

"Fanny - the dancing Venus of Galgenberg" is, however, the most common nickname. Archaeologists under the lead of the excavation Christine Neugebauer-Maresch gave her the name of one of the most famous dancers of the Biedermeier period, Fanny Elßler (1810-1881).

Although a breast is shown on the left side and her vulva is clearly indicated, she is also repeatedly interpreted as a male hunter with a club.

Place of discovery

Unlike the Venus of Willendorf, which was made of material from what is now northern Italy and then left behind in Willendorf, the Venus of Galgenberg did not get around very much: she was made in Stratzing on the Galgenberg and was ultimately also excavated there. Carving debris around the excavation site points to this, especially as the rock material is also from that area.

It is interesting that the site of the Venus of Willendorf, which is about 7,000 years younger, is only 25 km up the Danube. The banks of the Danube were important habitats for our predecessors.

Side notes

  • Fanny even made it into a crime novel ;)

  • her excavator, Dr. Neugebauer-Maresch is one of the experts in the FROM THE GODDESS Docu Series (Episode 1 and 6)

bottom of page