Abstract and Keywords
In recent decades the analysis of figurines has been theorized within the broader context of archaeology and material culture, and they have lately become the subject of discussions concerning embodiment, sexuality, performance, personhood, practice, and process. Instead of being separated from other areas of excavation, figurine studies are now more likely to be embedded in interdisciplinary research and to be the subject of scientific research. This review chapter begins with a discussion of figurines as material things in themselves, rather than reflections or resemblances of other externalities. More than other kinds of material culture, we want to know what figurines meant for their makers, because they evoke something so distinctly human. I then outline particular case studies at the forefront in the archaeological context, detailing how novel, explicitly interdisciplinary research is making new types of knowledge possible. I conclude with a series of interlinked studies from the site of Çatalhöyük.
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