Figurines et représentations animales dans les villages néolithiques du Proche-Orient


fr Anthropozoologica 38 - Pages 35-48

Published on 01 March 2004

This article is a part of the thematic issue Figures animales des mondes anciens

Zoomorphic figurines and animal representations in the Near East neolithic villages

Neolithic zoomorphic figurines have been found int the Near East in many different contexts. They do not constitute an homogeneous group, either in time or in space. Their study cannot be separated from that of other animal representations (petroglyphs, statuettes, paintings?). These representations expressed various relationships between mankind and the animal world. However, figurines are usually very schematic and it is often impossible to specify either species or sex. Their function stretch from the straightfowardly symbolise (fertility figurines, vehicule of magic, cult images?) to social assertion (marks of property?) ; they also served as education devices (initiation figurines) or even toys. These functions were certainly not mutually exclusive and it is usually impossible to identify the specific functions of figurines found in secondary contexts.


Animal figurines, Neolithic, Near East, symbolism, ritual.

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