Petroglyphs of vulvas are engraved into rock walls, caves, and boulders all over the world. They date to the Paleolithic and into modern times. Some are deeply grooved into the stone from repeated tracings or from grinding out rock dust for conception, healing, rainmaking, and other ritual uses. In Pomo Country in northern California, such stones are known as Baby Rocks, and women performed ceremonies there in order to conceive. [See Elizabeth Quick’s very rich article on this subject.]
Here is a collage I created of Vulva Stones around the world. (Look here for identifications of the various images.) Many of these ancient signs are described in what follows. Look at the central image, an extremely old rock engraving from Messak Setaffet in southwestern Libya. She is seated crosslegged, with her hands to the vulva, from which countless people have scraped out rock dust, grooving it deep into the stone. Her breasts are clearly marked also, but her face is a mystery, not a human face at all. Horns protrude from both sides, and above them, the beaks of two vultures or other great birds. Other full-figure examples with strongly marked vulvas exist, like the examples below from Hawaii (middle left) and Roc-aux-Sorciers in France (upper right).
Inscription of vulva signs on boulders and rock shelters goes back to the paleolithic in Australia, Africa, the Americas and Europe. Vulvas are painted on cave walls at Tito Bustillo, Spain, while they are deeply carved into the rock at Le Roc-Aux-Sorciers, France (see poster). La Ferrassie in the Dordogne is especially rich in vulva petroglyphs. Some are carved on stone blocks; one bears an animal head sculptured on one side and a high-relief vulva on the other. Another boulder has a vulva prominently placed beneath an animal’s belly.
A group of vulva-incised rocks are the centerpiece of the Brazilian site Abrigo do Sol (Sun Shelter), circa 10,000 to 7,000 BCE. The stones show both surface markings and deep gouges, some of which were used for milling or tool-sharpening. Others reflect a widespread animist custom of grinding out rock dust for ritual use. On some rocks the vulvas are accompanied by other symbols such as footprints and solar signs. (See poster.) The Wasúsu people say that these signs are “tokens of a long-vanished tribe of warrior women,” all killed long ago. [von Puttkamer 1979: 60-82]...