Human figurine


Rijksmuseum van Oudheden

Rijksmuseum van Oudheden
Leiden, Netherlands

Small human figures such as this one, moulded from clay, are characteristic of the Early Bronze Age in northeast Syria (c. 2100-1900 BC). They were made by hand in successive stages: first the general shape of the body and head would be formed, after which the eyes, hair, arms, breasts and so forth would be fashioned in the wet clay and elaborated in detail by scoring. The elongated body, either flattened or modelled all around, is a striking feature. These figurines sometimes have short arms pointing forwards; such stumps always have vertical holes pierced in them and were evidently holding some object. A few of these figures have been found in graves, but most emerged from excavations in and around residential properties. They may have been house gods, which were believed to offer protection to the occupants and to ward off any calamity threatening the home.


  • Title: Human figurine
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: -2100/-2000
  • Location: Syrië
  • Physical Dimensions: h23.1 cm
  • Datering: 2100-2000 v.C.
  • Afmetingen: 23.1 cm
  • Type: figurine
  • External Link: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden
  • Medium: earthenware

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