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HOME : Near Eastern Art : Archive : Anatolian Idol
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Anatolian Idol - OF.007 (LSO)
Origin: Anatolia
Circa: 4000 BC to 3000 BC
Dimensions: 3.2" (8.1cm) high x 2.2" (5.6cm) wide
Collection: Near Eastern
Medium: Copper Alloy

Additional Information: SOLD

Location: Great Britain
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This mysterious object has both avian and anthropomorphic features. The smooth flat surface is devoid of any detail, featuring two wings/arms either side of a ‘tear-drop’ shaped body. The only interruption to the surface is the beak-like protrusion from the centre of the face. The chances of accurately identifying the function of this or indeed any piece from non- literate societies without contextual evidence are slim. However, certain conclusions can be drawn. Firstly, the piece is evidently non-utilitarian, as it has no wear marks, and in any case is constructed in a manner unsuited to robust usage. Secondly, it is made from a material that was excessively rare and hard to work at the time, suggesting that it was an elite possession, and that it probably had a non-secular function. Most early groups objectified animals, and then humans, as religious and ritual imagery, as it was these that were imbued with spiritual values, and were a more effective means of symbolizing qualities than abstract notions and concepts. What we know about society at the time suggests that there was a hierarchy that was only familiar with such otherwordly concepts at the highest level; we can therefore safely assume that thus piece was owned by, and used by, a high- ranking member of the society, and that s/he was probably involved in some ritual function within the society. The rarity of this piece, and the consummate skill with which it has been made, makes it a truly exceptional piece of ancient art. - (OF.007 (LSO))


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