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date: 19 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the collection of objects, in clay and stone, from various pastoral Saharan sites whose original core area lay between Libya (Tadrart Acacus) and Algeria (Tassili- n-Ajjer). The chapter starts from the general theme of the relationship between the figurines and the subjects they represent, and the difference between two-dimensional and three-dimensional representation. It goes on to discuss the manufacturing process of the clay specimens (dating from between 7000 and 4000 years ago) and the significance of the changes introduced by the Neolithic. Most of the items studied fall into the category of zoomorphic figurines, with only two anthropomorphic examples, and find in the depiction of cattle their most striking subject. These representations possess an evident symbolic content which must be framed within the pastoral ideology of the Saharan Neolithic. In the anthropomorphic figurines the representation of the human body also plays the role of recapturing the sense of wholeness.

Keywords: Sahara, pastoral ideology, Neolithic, zoomorphic figurines, anthropomorphic figurines

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