Seated female

Period: Halaf

Date: ca. 5600–5000 B.C.

Geography: Mesopotamia or Syria

Culture: Halaf

Medium: Ceramic, paint

Dimensions: H. 5.1 cm, W. 4.5 cm

Classification: Ceramics-Sculpture

Credit Line: Purchase, Leon Levy and Shelby White Gift, 1985

Accession Number: 1985.84

Description

Distinctive clay female figures like this one were produced at sites belonging to the Halaf culture. This example displays a strong stylization with an emphasis on the sexual features. She sits with her large thighs extended, supporting her breasts with her arms; neither hands nor feet are shown. Her head is missing; in other figures of this type when the head is intact, it is elongated into a large noselike projection but otherwise is featureless. Remains of paint may represent jewelry. The meaning of such representations is unknown but may be connected with fertility. The stylized depiction of the nude female form remained an artistic convention in northern Syria, Anatolia, and the Aegean for several millennia.

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