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date: 24 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Contrasted with the vast majority of Neolithic finds, thousands of Neolithic figurines, anthropomorphic vessels, and house models were vested with both a special typological and an artistic value, often divorcing them from their original contexts and removing any clues about their roles within the community. This was aggravated by interpretations that considered these sixth and fifth millennum bc southeast and Central European figurines as forerunners of the deities and goddesses of classical antiquity. What positive interpretation do these representations allow, given that some sites have occasionally yielded hundreds of these figurines? A closer examination of the stylistic features and the archaeological contexts can reveal much about Neolithic ‘history’, Neolithic cognition, naturalistic and symbolic representations, transitions between human and zoomorphic representations, intentional figurine breakage and the role of ritual customs within changing Neolithic social structures.

Keywords: sixth and fifth millennium BC, southeast Europe, Central European, naturalistic and symbolic representations, transitions between human and zoomorphic representations, intentional figurine breakage

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