As an aside, Karon Schwab, an amateur archaeologist from Idyllwild, California, contacted me a while back. She had found so many one eye open, one eye closed, figures she had concluded the prehistoric peoples who lived in her locale had a genetic condition creating the disfigurement. Dozens of other amateurs have made similar observations, all to be ignored by mainstream archaeology orthodoxy.
The "dodgy eye" statement will cause a chuckle for all familiar with this motif, with many examples seen on this blog (search "one eye") and described by others, including James Harrod, Ph. D., at originsnet.org. The eye may be more than dodgy, it may be symbolic and embedded with cultural meaning.
Dr. Harrod writes (pers. comm.) 'One day I had the opportunity to hand the 'one eye' sculpture, that Ursel Benekendorff sent me, to the late Roy Scheider, a skilled actor in TV, movies and Shakespearean stage. I said nothing other than: "what do you feel this stone is saying". He said (paraphrase) that it felt like the tragic vision of King Lear, one eye open is witness to all human doings and human suffering, one eye is closed in pain and and anguish over the human condition; also one eye looks inward, one outward. Also as the head is like that of a child, it also speaks of maintaining spiritual innocence facing the human predicament. I am reminded of the proverb of Jesus: 'Be wise as serpents, innocent as doves.'"
This culturally mediated carved ivory item is an example of a meme which was repeated for thousands of years. So many more examples survive in stone. Have all the wooden ones perished?
To make an extraordinary archaeological claim of "the oldest known portrait of a woman," hopefully not to sell more exhibition tickets, the museum sees it upon itself to determine, "absolutely" no less, the features on the figure represent a unique individual. I have read at one time an account that said this carving was found in proximity to the skeletal remains of a woman with a matching facial disfigurement. If this was correct, it is much more likely the woman "matched" the art motif, maybe as a kind of living embodiment, than the art was created as a portrait of the woman.
basalt one-eyed figure stone investigated by Alan Day at left, artist's rendering of the "dodgy eyed" woman of Dolni Věstonice (Czech Republic) and at right a figure stone from archaeologist Hans Grams' collection, artifact from Wegberg, German Rhineland.