Biblical Archaeology Review 44:6, November/December 2018


Çatalhöyük, Turkey

Fashioned from limestone more than 8,000 years ago, this female figurine was discovered in one of the oldest cities in the world: Çatalhöyük, a Neolithic settlement located in central Turkey.

Measuring 6.7 inches tall and 4.3 inches wide and weighing just over 2 pounds, this rare figurine was discovered in the summer of 2016. Archaeologists believe it is linked closely to the two graves located near its findspot.

Traditionally, figurines like this (which have been found throughout southeastern Europe, Anatolia, and the Middle East) have been thought to depict fertility goddesses. However, a new theory suggests that they may represent older women who had achieved a special status within their egalitarian agricultural community—with fatness as a sign of prestige and special respected status due to age.

Currently this figure is in museum storage in Konya, Turkey.

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