Many years back, the news of the Venus of Laussel, the prehistoric nude picture of a woman set on red stone made media mileage. For whatever reason, that bit of news was filed in some drawer somewhere in my brain, although I have since forgotten the context in which the media reported it, except perhaps to say that this 1.5 ft limestone figurine is 25,000 years old. (It is that old, according to sources found on the internet; and it could also be due to the fact that the figure closely resembles the figure of women who have borne and nursed many babies.)
The Venus of Laussel is buxom, with droopy breasts and fleshy thighs flanking the unmistakable Y of the mons pubis. While one hand rests on her abdomen, another holds a “wisent horn” or a “cornucopia” containing 13 notches, which, according to researchers, could represent the number of menstrual cycles of a woman in any given year. Gazing at that piece of history in Bordeaux, at the Musee d’Aquitaine, I heard the cabinet drawer containing the file for this bit of archaelogical find slide happily open in my brain.
The Musee d’Aquitaine, which is found on 20 Cours Pasteur in Bordeaux, is a historical museum that contains artifacts from prehistory to the contemporary.
Entrance to the museum is free, except for some temporary exhibitions that are periodically featured. In September, 2009, I had the happy luck of going to a temporary exhibition on the evolution of bottles for wines, which featured the ancient amphora to the present day glass bottle, entitled “L’ame du vin chante dans les bouteilles” (The spirit of the wine sings in the bottles). Entrance to that temporary exhibition was 5EUR.
The imposing and impressive stone structure that is Musee d’Aquitaine is hard to miss, plus the fact that there is a tram stop devoted to this museum.
While there weren’t many Bordelais interested in this kind of museum, true there as it is here in the Philippines, this museum is one of the most interesting places to see while in Bordeaux.