Size: 10ft. 8 in. x 2ft. 5in.
325cm. x 72.5 cm.
The source for the repeating main patterns, formerly known as the keyhole design,
has been greatly refined and the following description will provide a far more
accurate explanation. Actually these designs are woven representations of prehistoric
idols, first sculpted in stone and later modeled in fired clay. Their form has
been influenced by the progressive developments in figurine sculpture which
occurred throughout Europe and the eastern Mediterranean from the late Paleolithic,
c.30,000BC, through the late Bronze Age, c.500BC.
The earliest known effigy figurines are female representations. They have been
recovered from Paleolithic cave sites located in France and Spain. These idols
invariably exhibit an important style, the indented-shape, which will be shown
to be the source design for these figurines and the woven representation seen
A group of idols made of baked clay with incised decorations supplies the key
the kelim's design to its prehistoric prototypes. These idols, Fig.10
and Fig.11, were recovered from Cirna, an archaeological
site in Romania associated with the Girla Mare Culture. They are dated c.1500BC,
nearly at the end of a design continuum beginning c.30,000BC. At that time the
first rudimentary, transitional schematic figures are engraved at a several
cave sites in southern France. Fig.12 is one example
crude efforts and is particularly significant because it provides the earliest
reference to another style of idol depiction,
the sitting goddess Fig.13. Two mammoth tusk carvings
Fig.14 and Fig.15,
found at Mezine, a late Paleolithic site in southern Russia, exhibit further
development of the schematization of the indented-shape. They also introduce
two other important symbols, the radiating diamond and hook designs, both designs
often encountered in slit-tapestry weaving.
in pottery making discovered during Neolithic allowed more realistic modeling
of figurines than in the Paleolithic when only crude stone sculpting was possible.
Fig.16, 17 and 18
are typical and present the earliest sitting goddess
style fired clay figurines
as well. The idea of a seated deity versus a standing one reflected the great
social, political and cultural changes Neolithic society underwent. Two unique
carved stone idols from this period Fig.19 and
20 show the earlier abstract style, which is very
of the well known Paleolithic style.
By 5000BC a figurine Fig.21 shows the indented
shape stylized into a refined,
repeatable and easily recognizable format. A somewhat earlier figurine Fig.22
from a c.6000BC site in Yugoslavia was
perhaps its prototype. A late Neolithic effigy vessel Fig.23
decorated with a radiating diamond design is remarkably similar in style to
the concentric, radiating outlines seen above. The central indented shaped motif
on the effigy
vessel's crown further emphasizes the connection of this design with the deity.
The indented shape tradition continues as the dominant
style until c.2500BC when new and different styles of effigy figurines began
to appear. Perhaps the most well known is the violin-shape Fig.24,
which will eventually replace the indented-shape style throughout the
eastern Mediterranean region. However, the indented shape still continued to
be produced in some areas of the Aegean until c.500BC as Fig.25
and 26 both from
Figures captions 10 - 26
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