von Hauff Charlotte
Universitat Heidelberg, Germany
Cultural change during the 4th millennium BC: The end of anthropomorphic clay figurines in Greece
During the transition from the Early Chalcolithic (ca. 4400-3600 BC) to the Late Chalcolithic (ca. 3600-3100 BC), a lot of changes occurred in Greece which have not yet been sufficiently investigated.
Especially concerning the figural sculptures, it seems that the ones from the Early Chalcolithic belong to traditions that can be traced back to the Late Neolithic.
By analysing particular features of the Early Chalcolithic clay figurines and the acroliths, the opportunity arises to reveal close relations between various regions of Greece, including the Cyclades. Furthermore, patterns become apparent, pointing to certain spheres of interaction in the Aegean.
In contrast, the Late Chalcolithic presents a strikingly different picture: Figurines of clay are not produced anymore; instead there is a development of stone figurines on the Cycladic Islands, reaching its climax in EC II. And not only is there a change in the material that is used, but also in the signification of the figurine itself, which is shown by the deposition of figurines in Cycladic graves.
These changes in the field of anthropomorphic figurines should not be regarded as an isolated phenomenon, but were rather embedded in processes of a more general transformation affecting funeral traditions, the economy and the settlement systems.
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