Author: Monique Arntz (University of Cambridge)
Even though figurines are a ubiquitous find on many Neolithic sites, some aspects of figurines are still poorly understood. Figurines have been studied as symbolic messages to be decoded, as art, and as ritual/cult objects. The main drawback of these interpretative frameworks is that they fail to analyse figurines as artefacts. Instead, figurines are treated primarily, or even exclusively, as images or texts. In this paper it will be argued that in order to understand figurines we need to engage with their materiality in order to understand how figurines worked in their social setting. Within the framework of craft theory a sensory approach will be applied to the chaîne opératoire, and formulate perceptive categories, or those aspects of the material(s) that are recognisable and (possibly) relevant to craftspeople and elements that reflect choices made during the production process. This chaîne opératoire is embedded within a larger aim of creating object biographies for figurines where production, use and deposition are analysed holistically.
How to Cite: Arntz, M. (2022) “Beyond Meaning: Employing an Artefact Approach to Study Figurines as Functional Items. A Case Study from Çatalhöyük (Turkey)”, Papers from the Institute of Archaeology. 33(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.14324/111.444.2041-9015.1375None