A UNIQUE PREHISTORIC FIGURINE OF THE NEAR EAST


A UNIQUE PREHISTORIC FIGURINE OF THE NEAR EAST

Szerző: Eszter Bánffy

Archaeolingua, 2001

 

As regards an artistic object, e.g. a sculpture of the ancient world of unknown provenance, it is a usual practice to study its possible context, historic and sometimes also religious background. But is it correct to do the same with an artefact of an earlier age, a prehistoric figurine?

The author devotes the present study to a meticulous analysis of a stray find, bought from a collection in Egypt and now deposited in the Budapest Museum of Fine Arts. The main goal certainly was to collect as much information as possible about the time and place of its birth, about the (pre)historic context within which the figurine may have been used. The result reveals fairly much about the periphery of the late 3rd millennium Mesopotamia, about groups of peoples who traded and thus came into cultural contact with Egypt, but also with coeval Transcaucasian cultures. An attempt for a reconstruction of early religious koine of the Syro-Palestinian region, concerning Goddesses, was also possible. Beyond
that, the book is also of methodological value, giving an example for studying contextless archaeological objects, which, unfortunately, according to the proliferating trade in antique objects of art, grow in number.

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