|Photo Credit: M Burkitt 'The Old Stone Age'|
Below, you can see the same sculpture, photographed from the top down, with the head as the viewpoint. This is then compared to a photograph of a 26 year old adult Caucasian female, whom is six months pregnant.
This form of self-representation explains the lack of detail or attention to the head, as well as the feet (hidden by the hips and legs). It also reveals the odd choice of proportion to be a preference for the viewer's perspective of the self.
I find this theory to be an attractive explanation, but it also begs the question of why? As representational artists, we are concerned with depicting things as faithfully as we see them, just as our ancient ancestors may have concerned themselves with depicting their bodies in a manner that made sense to them. Even in our attempts to describe what we visually see, we can often arrive at such different understandings of what that may mean.
Click here to read McDermott's paper in full