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Lot 0048G
Southeastern Europe, Danube Region, Vinca culture also known as Turdas or Turdas-Vinca culture, ca. 5th to 4th millennium BCE. A captivating goddess figure from the oldest Neolithic culture in Southeastern Europe, handbuilt and modeled from terracotta, of a schematic form with one arm to waist, a pinched face to delineate eye orbitals and nasal ridge, incised almond-shaped eyes as well as incised necklace/collar and garment. Wood block stand. Extremely rare. Size: 2.5" H (6.4 cm); 3.375" H (8.6 cm) on included custom stand.

Statuettes like this one, along with large tell (mound) settlements, embody keys to understanding the Neolithic Era. Some scholars have linked the rise of these figurines to an increasing sense of place and ownership in the landscape; people at this time seemed to be very interested marking their location and returning again and again to certain spaces in the landscape, and there is speculation that figurines like this one may have been representative of individuals and left in places to denote ownership or at least a connection to the geography.

The Vinca culture flourished from 5500 to 3500 BCE on the territories of what is now Bosnia, Serbia, Romania and Macedonia. It got its name from the present-day village of Vinca, ten kilometers east of Belgrade on the Danube river, where over 150 Vinca settlements have been determined. There is no evidence of war or defenses in the townships, and it appears that the Vinca were a peaceful society combining low-level agriculture with foraging and trade. They produced the first known European examples of a 'proto'-script and were the first people in the world known to smelt copper. They existed in a similar state for almost 2,000 years, following which they appear to have dispersed around the Mediterranean and Aegean.

Cf: Idole, exhibition catalogue Munich Staatliche Museum, 1985, p. 104 no. 49. Vinca culture, Balkan area.

Provenance: ex-Royal Athena Gallery, New York, New York, USA

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Royal Athena sticker on base inscribed with inventory number VL9417. Missing one arm and legs. Expected surface wear commensurate with age.

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Neolithic Turdas Vinca Pottery Standing Goddess

Estimate $1,800 - $2,700Dec 20, 2017