Figuring out the figurines: Towards the interpretation of Neolithic corporeality in the Republic of Macedonia

Goce Naumov

Ss. Cyril and Methodius University (University of Skopje, Macedonia)

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Dig It: The Journal of the Flinders Archaeological Society
Volume 2, Issue 1, June 2014

Print: ISSN 1440-2475
Online: ISSN 2203-1898


Neolithic figurines are often subject of keen discussions and debates between two main theoretical standpoints. The one side tends towards deification of the anthropomorphic figurines, whilst the other determines these artefacts as mediators in social relation among individuals and communities. Thus, the first group of researchers idolises the figurines as fertility symbols, whereas the others considerably profane their social function. This paper aims to explore these breaking points and from there on to develop multi-relational interpretations towards the character of some Neolithic figurines. In this context figurines found in the settlements from the Republic of Macedonia will be used for further observations. Particular cases associated with medieval and contemporary visual culture, as well as recent gender ritual issues will be proposed for thorough understanding of the body representations.


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