Development and distribution of anthropomorphic figures in Anatolia from the Neolithic to the end of the Early Bronze Age
This study of anthropomorphic figures in Anatolia, variously described in the older literature as figurines, idols or statuettes, is mainly concerned with their stylistic development from the period in which they first appear, the Neolithic, to the end of the Early Bronze Age. Two main periods of development may be distinguished: the Early Neolithic, Late Neolithic and Early Chalcolithic periods which form. the first and the Late Chalcolithic and the Early Bronze Age (I-III) which is the second period. In the first period anthropomorphic figures are mainly sculptured in the round, but in two stylistically different groups. At the beginning of this period, during the Early Neolithic, they occur not only in aniconic and semi-anthropomorphic forms, but they are also found in a variety of styles that range from realistic to stylized and schematized forms. In time realistically executed anthropomorphic figures increase during the Late Neolithic, although the earlier forms are still found. Whereas conventionalized anthropomorphic figures in a realistic style dominate in this period, a decline sets in during the Early Chalcolithic, when uniformity disappears and tendencies towards stylization become apparent. This decline, it should be pointed out, does not follow a gradual development from realistic representations deteriorating into stylized and highly stylized forms. Naturalistic representations show less naturalism and tend to show exaggerated proportions. Examples of the schematic group occur earlier than those of the naturalistic group, and when the naturalistic figures appear schematic representations are not ousted or replaced. On the contrary, they occur and continue to occur side by side, but differ from the naturalistic group. both in the crudeness of their manufacture and size. Although the Late Chalcolithic marks the beginning of the second main period, it may be regarded as a transitional period when fully modelled figures give way to flattened forms and anthropomorphic figures begin to deteriorate through loss of arms, legs and other anatomical details. This trend continues throughout the following Early Bronze Age. However, from Early Bronze Age II onwards, anthropomorphic figures carved in the round reappear -side by side with the flat ones though they never attain the same amount of realism found in the first period, and in particular the Late Neolithic. It should be pointed out that this new development is not general but shows geographical differences.