Mesopotamia or Syria
Ceramic, paint; 2.01 x 1.77 in. (5.11 x 4.5 cm)
Purchase, Shelby White and Leon Levy, 1985 (1985.84)
Distinctive clay female figures like this one were produced at sites belonging to the Halaf culture. This example displays a strong stylization with an emphasis on the sexual features. She sits with her large thighs extended, supporting her breasts with her arms; neither hands nor feet are shown. Her head is missing; in other figures of this type with head intact it is elongated into a large noselike projection but otherwise is featureless. Remains of paint may represent jewelry. The meaning of such representations eludes us but may be connected with fertility. The stylized depiction of the female form remains an artistic convention in northern Syria, Anatolia, and the Aegean for several millennia.