Anthropomorphic figurine

  • Era/Century: Prehistory
  • Culture: Vinča
  • Site: Vinča
  • Dating: 5th millennium BC
  • Material: terracotta
  • Dimensions: height 8 cm
  • Property: Belgrade City Museum
  • On Display: Archeological Site of Vinča

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A female figurine with short, perforated nub arms, protruding from the main body of the sculpture. The shapes of the breasts and the glutei are pronounced. Only the nose is distinctly represented on the so-called ‘bird's face’. The clothes are rendered using incisions and dense slits. The entire surface of the figurine is painted in red. The Vinča culture has become world famous primarily for the figurines. Miloje Vasić, the first explorer of Vinča, discovered more than a thousand figural sculptures. The excavations carried out during the 1970s and 1980s, as well as the new campaigns that have lasted since 1998, significantly enriched the collection of these items. They are usually anthropomorphic (i.e. they have a human form), but it is also possible to find the animal-shaped ones (zoomorphic). As far as their size is concerned, they usually fit into the palm of a hand. Their purpose is not quite clear. Archaeologists usually explain them as cult- and magic-related items or ritual objects and they believe that they must have been associated with the cult of the ancestors. The figurines conform to a strict canon. Initially, the Vinča figurines were stocky and they resembled the figurines made by the predecessors of the Vinča culture on the same territory. They slowly evolved and were enriched with more and more details, based on which today's explorers can trace the dress, the hairstyles and body decoration trends. The Vinča figurines have an exceptional significance for Neolithic archaeology due to the fact that they are chronologically sensitive, suitable for dating. They also serve as an abundant source of information about the artistic aspirations and the social organization of the community.


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