The Stargazers of Ancient Anatolia

‘Kiliya-type’ figures are commonly dated at around 4500-4000 BC, and have all been found in the region of Anatolia, now part of modern Turkey. More commonly known by their colloquial name ‘stargazers’, they received the name due to the upward angle of the figures’ heads, which give the appearance that they are gazing up at the stars.

Anatolian 'Stargazer' Head

Female Representations

Stargazers all take a stylised humanoid shape, albeit with bulbous heads, thin necks, flat bodies and sculpted facial features which often resemble a nose and ears. All the Anatolian stargazer figures have been identified as female due to a number of key features that they share; the general proportions of those which survive intact, though very heavily stylised, are implicitly female, including wide hips. However, the most prominent identifying feature is the frequent inclusion of an incised triangle, which marks the pubic region of the figures.

What was their Purpose?

Other Neolithic finds of female figures from neighbouring regions such as Greece bear some stylistic similarities to the Kiliya figures, including the wide hips and incised triangle, some of which have been identified as early depictions of a Venus-type figure. Consequently, it has been suggested that the stargazers may be linked to fertility and were either kept as fertility tokens or used in some relevant ritual practice. However, little is known about the culture who created them and thus, they will always retain a sense of mystery.

By ancient art manager,

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