Neolithic “Venus” figurine found in Çatalhöyük

A Neolithic female figurine was discovered during excavations at the fameous Çatalhöyük site in central Anatolia, Turkey. The statue is dated to about 8000-5500 BC.

Neolithic female figurine from Çatalhöyük (by Hurriyet Daily News)
Neolithic female figurine from Çatalhöyük (Photographer: Jason Quinlan, Copyright: Çatalhöyük Research Project via Hurriyet Daily News)

The figurine is said to measure 17 centimetres in length and weights about 1 kilogram. It was carved from a marmoreal stone. The figurine has all body parts intact and presents a typical form for similar artefacts from Çatalhöyük. It was discovered under a platform along with a piece of obsidian, the so-called volcano-glass. The archaeologists on the site, lead by Ian Hodder of Stanford University, believe it served a ritual purpose. It is a unique piece of intact, fine craftsmanship dated to Neolithic times.

Photographic documentation of the figurine (by Daily Sabah)
Photographic documentation of the figurine (Photographer: Jason Quinlan, Copyright: Çatalhöyük Research Project via Daily Sabah)

Çatalhöyük, one of Turkey’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is a neolithic settlement in central Anatolia. It consists of numerous buildings that through 50 years of excavation, revealed vast amount of information about the first human communities. The newly found figurine is one of many Neolithic female statuettes discovered at the site and throughout the area of Turkey, of which the most famous from Çatalhöyük is the so-called Seated Mother Goddess figurine. It is at present on exhibition in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara.

(after Hurriyet Daily News, Daily Sabah & Jason Quinlan)

1 Comment

  1. // Reply

    The “Venus Figurine” found at Catalhoyuk seems different from all others I have seen that have no facial features at all and no hands and no feet. Why does this figurine have details that might indicate individuality? Without those details I would guess the figurines are clearly symbols of an archetype – perhaps defining and valuing a certain type of beauty – the type that sustains successful birth and nourishment through infancy – in this way the survival of the tribe is maintained. Please contact me should you wish to discuss the purpose and use of these Venus figurines throughout the Upper Paleolithic and the role they may have played in causing the emergence of Natufian settlements and eventually civilization.

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