Anthropologists believe they may have been used in fertility rituals, although why fat women should be so iconic remains a mystery. Arguably the greatest Mesolithic work of art is the terracotta sculpture from Romania, known as The Thinker of Cernavoda, an unmistakable image of cognitive thought.
Neolithic art is noted above all for its pottery, but it also featured free standing sculpture and bronze statuettes - in particular from the Indus Valley Civilization, the North Caucasus and pre-Columbian art in the Americas.
Buoyed by this turn of events, Ethelred returned from exile to reclaim the throne by force from Sweyn’s son Canute.
(See Egyptian sculpture.) Indeed, the advent of the Bronze Age (In Europe: 3000-1200 BCE) as well as the emergence of cities and public buildings, and the development of more sophisticated tools, triggered a general increase in the demand for all types of art, including sculpture.
As well as having huge narrative content capable of promoting a specific message, sculpture is also an arduous craft whose creators are highly dependent on both tools, technology.
From the very earliest tool-cultures of the Paleolithic era, sculptural progress has been marked by the discovery of new materials and equipment.
Snorri tells the (probably apocryphal) tale of how Olaf, in his assault on the Danish defences, slung strong cables around the legs of London Bridge and used the force of the Thames current to pull it down—a key moment in Ethelred’s victorious campaign.
The passage begins: “First they made their way to London, and so up into the Thames, but the Danes held the city.