First Sculpted Human Face in the Western Mediterranean Early Neolithic

Abstract : The development of Neolithic lifestyle in the Western Mediterranean during the 6th millennium cal BCE is the consequence of the spread of populations from the Near East after successive stages of cultural remodelling. Despite a clear contribution of the Near-Eastern and Aegean Neolithic to the economic and technical changes that happened to the West, few is known here about their symbolic legacies, because of the scarcity of representations and ritual evidences associated to the earliest Western Neolithic contexts. Excavations at the rock shelter of Pendimoun (South-Eastern France) yielded the first anthropomorphic stone sculpture from the Western Mediterranean Neolithic (Early 6th millennium cal BCE). Using both carving and painting techniques, it represents a rather realistic human face which is a unicum within the Western Mediterranean and European frames. After having described the shaping and colouring details of the mask, the authors here deal with its possible social significances and cultural connections.
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Didier Binder, Caroline Hamon, Ludovic Bellot-Gurlet, Sylvie Beyries, Pradeau Jean-Victor, et al.. First Sculpted Human Face in the Western Mediterranean Early Neolithic. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2014, 24 (1), pp.1-17. ⟨10.1017/S0959774314000043⟩. ⟨hal-01100046⟩



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