Near East, Anatolia (central Turkey) or northern Syria, Tell Halaf area, ca. 6500 to 4500 BCE. A petite terracotta fertility figure depicting a seated woman with nubbin breasts and voluptuous thighs that emphasize her fruitfulness. Dark pigment striations adorn her arms and faint painted details remain on her face. The figure was modeled in clay, dried in the sun, and then painted with patterns that may represent tattoos or jewelry. A very strong and remarkably early example! Size: 2.125" W x 3.875" H (5.4 cm x 9.8 cm)
As early as the 7th millennium BCE, cultures in the Near East began creating organized settlements with highly developed religious as well as funerary practices. The Halaf culture of Anatolia (central Turkey) and northern Syria produced mesmerizing female figurines with fertility attributes. Whether images like these were intended to represent real, ideal, or divine women is unknown; however, scholars believe that their primary purpose was to encourage female fertility. Compare a similar example in The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn NY (1990.14)
Provenance: Ex-private east coast, USA collection
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