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Venus from Mal´ta-Bureť (Russia) - cast of resin

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Seller: biologus (164) 100%, Location: Brno, the Czech Republic, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 172414461208 Normal 0 21 Normal 0 21 Venus from Mal´ta-Bureť (Russia) - cast of resin 40 000 years ago Figure is 13 cm (= 5,1 inches) high. Age is about 15 000 years (epigravettien). Exact professional replica, made of resin. I will ship worldwide, 5 days money back guarantee (excluding shipping). Multiple purchases are with only one real shipping. Amount here is for air mail shipping to the USA, inside the EU is lower. You can ask in advance.Mal'ta-Buret' culture From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Coordinates: 52.9°N 103.5°E The Mal'ta-Buret' culture is an archaeological culture of the Upper Paleolithic (c. 24,000 to 15,000 BP) on the upper Angara River in the area west of Lake Baikal in the Irkutsk Oblast, Siberia, Russian Federation. The type sites are named for the villages of Mal'ta (Мальта), Usolsky District and Buret' (Буреть), Bokhansky District (both in Irkutsk Oblast). Research published in 2014 indicates that the Mal'ta people belonged to a population, which may have made a substantial contribution to the genetic ancestry of the American Indians. Contents 1 Archaelogical evidence2 Art 2.1 Venus figurines2.2 Context of the Venus figurines 3 Symbolism4 Relationship to American Indians and Europeans5 References6 Bibliography7 External links Archaelogical evidence Mongoloid features had been originally acknowledged in the skeletal remains of a child found at the site of Malta. Alexeev (1998, 323) in his later publication was more cautious, stating that this area was“inhabited by a population of Mongoloid appearance".[1] Mal'ta consists of semi-subterranean houses that were built using large animal bones to assemble the walls, and reindeer antlers covered with animal skins to construct a roof that would protect the inhabitants from the harsh elements of the Siberian weather. Much of what is known about Mal'ta comes from Russian archaeologist Mikhail Gerasimov. Known in the anthropological community primarily for his contributions to a process called forensic sculpture (the recreation of the face of an individual from skeletal remains), Gerasimov first achieved fame for his excavation of Mal'ta in 1927. At the time, the discoveries he made were revolutionary in the field of anthropology. Until his findings, scientists had not imagined that Upper Paleolithic societies of Northern and Central Asia were capable of the same level of culture as those of Europe. Over the course of his career Gerasimov would twice more visit Mal'ta for excavation and research, each time completing findings that were just as remarkable. Evidence seems to indicate that Mal'ta is the most ancient site in eastern Siberia; however, relative dating illustrates some irregularities. The use of flint flaking and the absence of pressure flaking used in the manufacture of tools, as well as the continued use of earlier forms of tools, seem to confirm the fact that the site belongs to the early Upper Paleolithic. Yet it lacks typical skreblos (large side scrapers) that are common in other Siberian Paleolithic sites. Additionally, other common characteristics such as pebble cores, wedge-shaped cores, burins, and composite tools have never been found. The lack of these features, combined with an art style found in only one other nearby site, make Mal'ta culture unique in Siberia. Art Engraving of a mammoth on a slab of mammoth ivory, from the Upper Paleolithic Mal'ta deposits at Lake Baikal, Siberia There were two main types of art during the Upper Paleolithic: mural art, which was concentrated in Western Europe, and portable art. Portable art, typically some type of carving in ivory tusk or antler, spans the distance across Western Europe into Northern and Central Asia. Artistic remains of expertly carved bone, ivory, and antler objects depicting birds and human females are the most commonly found; these objects are, collectively, the primary source of Mal'ta's acclaim. In addition to the female statuettes there are bird sculptures depicting swans, geese, and ducks. Through ethnographic analogy comparing the ivory objects and burials at Mal'ta with objects used by 19th and 20th century Siberian shamans, it has been suggested that they are evidence of a fully developed shamanism. Also, there are engraved representations on slabs of mammoth tusk. One is the figure of a mammoth, easily recognizable by the trunk, tusks and thick legs. Wool also seems to be etched, by the placement of straight lines along the body. Another drawing depicts three snakes with their heads puffed up and turned to the side. It is believed that they were similar to cobras. Venus figurines Main article: Mal'ta Venus Perhaps the best example of Paleolithic portable art is something referred to as "Venus figurines". Until they were discovered in Mal'ta, "Venus figurines" were previously found only in Europe. Carved from the ivory tusk of a mammoth, these images were typically highly stylized, and often involved embellished and disproportionate characteristics (typically the breasts or buttocks). It is widely believed that these emphasized features were meant to be symbols of fertility. Around thirty female statuettes of varying shapes have been found in Mal'ta. The wide variety of forms, combined with the realism of the sculptures and the lack of repetitiveness in detail, are definite signs of developed, albeit early, art. At first glance, what is obvious is that the Mal'ta Venus figurines are of two types: full figured women with exaggerated forms, and women with a thin, delicate form. Some of the figures are nude, while others have etchings that seem to indicate fur or clothing. Conversely, unlike those found in Europe, some of the Venus figurines from Mal'ta were sculpted with faces. Most of the figurines were tapered at the bottom, and it is believed that this was done to enable them to be stuck into the ground or otherwise placed upright. Placed upright, they could have symbolized the spirits of the dead, akin to "spirit dolls" used nearly world-wide, including in Siberia, among contemporary people. Context of the Venus figurines The only widely known Upper Paleolithic art from Asia are these figurines from Mal'ta. Although other examples of Paleolithic Asian art do exist, few of them have gained much attention outside of Asia. The reason why these Mal'ta figurines garner so much interest is that they seem to be nearly identical to European female figurines of roughly the same time period. The suggested similarity between Mal'ta and Upper Paleolithic civilizations of Western and Eastern Europe coincides with a long-held belief that the ancient people of Mal'ta were related to the Paleolithic societies of Europe. These similarities can be established by their tools, dwelling structures, and art. These commonalities draw into question the origin of Upper Paleolithic Siberian people, and whether the migrating peoples[clarification needed] originated from Southeastern Asia or quite possibly from Europe. On the other hand, one can argue that, as a group, the Mal'ta Venus figurines are rather different from the female figurines of Western and Central Europe. For example, none of the Siberian specimens depict abdominal enlargement as many European examples do. Also, as breasts are often lacking in the Mal'ta figurines, few offer clear enough evidence of gender to define them as female. More conclusively, nearly half of them show some facial details, something which is lacking on the so-called Venus figurines of Europe. It may not be possible to reach a definitive answer as to the origins of these peoples and their culture. Symbolism Discussing this easternmost outpost of paleolithic culture, Joseph Campbell finishes by commenting on the symbolic forms of the artifacts found there: We are clearly in a paleolithic province where the serpent, labyrinth, and rebirth themes already constitute a symbolic constellation, joined with the imagery of the sunbird and shaman flight, with the goddess in her classic role of protectress of the hearth, mother of man's second birth, and lady of wild things and of the food supply.[2] Relationship to American Indians and Europeans Research published in 2014 suggests that a Mal'ta like people were important genetic contributors to the American Indians, Europeans, and South Asians but did not contribute to and was not related to East Eurasians. Mal'ta had a type of R* y-dna that diverged before the hg R1 and R2 split and an unresolved clade of haplogroup U mtdna.[3] Between 14 and 38 percent of American Indian ancestry may originate from gene flow from the Mal'ta Buret people, which is essentially western Eurasian in a modern sense, while the other geneflow in the Native Americans appears to have an Eastern Eurasian origin [4] The genetic findings at Mal'ta may also help account for the Caucasian characteristics of Kennewick Man, a 9,000 year old skeleton discovered in the state of Washington. Mal'ta suggests that the Upper Paleolithic population of western Eurasia may have spread into Siberia and contributed to the physical characteristics of some early American Indians who were different from the East Asians who contributed most of the genetic heritage of the indigenous people of the Americas.[5] The Mal'ta - Buret' venuses and culture in Siberia The vast territory of North and Central Asia represents a poorly understood region in the prehistoric era, despite intensive excavations that have been conducted during the past century. The earliest human occupation in this region probably began sometime around 40 000 years ago. Small groups of big-game hunters likely migrated into this region from lands to the south and southwest, confronting a harsh climate and long, dry winters. By about 22 000 BP, two principal cultural traditions had developed in Siberia and northeastern Asia: the Mal'ta - Buret' and the Afontova Gora-Oshurkovo. The Mal'ta - Buret' tradition is known from a vast area spanning west of Lake Baikal and the Yenisey River. The site of Mal'ta is composed of a series of subterranean houses made of large animal bones and reindeer antler which had likely been covered with animal skins and sod to protect inhabitants from the severe, prevailing northerly winds. Among the artistic accomplishments evident at Mal'ta are remains of expertly carved bone, ivory, and antler objects. Figurines of birds and human females are the most commonly found items. The type sites are named for the villages of Mal'ta (Мальта), Usolsky District and Buret' (Буреть), Bokhansky District. The soft sign (Ь, ь), also known as the yer, translated into English as an apostrophe as in Mal'ta or Buret', makes the preceding consonant less pronounced. The Mal'ta site is located on the left bank of the Belaya, a tributary of the Angara, itself a tributary of the Yenisei, and it is one hundred kilometres northwest of Irkutsk and Lake Baikal. Discovered in 1928, it has had many excavations carried out successively by Sergei N. Zamiatnine, G. P. Sosnovskii and especially by Mr. Mikhail Gerasimov, who worked there for over thirty years. Coordinates: 52.9°N 103.5°E Mikhail Mikhaylovich Gerasimov (Михаи́л Миха́йлович Гера́симов) was born 2nd September 1907, in St. Petersburg, and died 21st 1970, in Moscow. He was a Soviet anthropologist-sculptor and archaeologist. Doctor of historical sciences (1956) and director of the laboratory of plastic reconstruction at the Institute of Ethnology of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1950-70). Text from Wikipedia and Delporte (1979) Map showing the location of Mal'ta (Siberia), and a venus figurine from Mal'ta. The vast territory of North and Central Asia represents a poorly understood region in the prehistoric era, despite intensive excavations that have been conducted during the past century. The earliest human occupation in this region probably began sometime around 40 000 years ago. Small groups of big-game hunters likely migrated into this region from lands to the south and southwest, confronting a harsh climate and long, dry winters. By about 22 000 BP, two principal cultural traditions had developed in Siberia and northeastern Asia: the Mal'ta and the Afontova Gora-Oshurkovo. The Mal'ta tradition is known from a vast area spanning west of Lake Baikal and the Yenisey River. The site of Mal'ta is composed of a series of subterranean houses made of large animal bones and huge numbers of reindeer antlers, no doubt scavenged for hut construction after being shed by the reindeer. The huts had likely been covered with animal skins and sod to protect the inhabitants from the severe, prevailing northerly winds bearing loess dust from the edges of the glaciated regions. Among the artistic accomplishments evident at Mal'ta are remains of expertly carved bone, ivory, and antler objects. Figurines of birds and human females are the most commonly found items. Paleolithic art of Europe and Asia falls into two broad categories: mural art and portable art. Mural art is concentrated in southwest France, Spain, and northern Italy. The tradition of portable art, predominantly carvings in ivory and antler, spans the distance across western Europe into North and Central Asia. It is suggested that the broad territory in which the tradition of carving and imagery is shared is evidence of cultural contact and common religious beliefs. Some of the most well known examples are the so-called Venus figurines. One such figurine, illustrated here, is from the site of Mal'ta and dates to around 23 000 BP. It is carved from the ivory of a mammoth, an extinct type of elephant highly prized in hunting that migrated in herds across the Ice Age tundra of Europe and Asia. Like most Paleolithic figurine carving, the image is carved in the round in a highly stylised manner. Typically, there are exaggerated characteristics such as breasts and buttocks, which may have been symbols of fertility. Height 87 mm. Laura Anne Tedesco Department of Education, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Photo and text: http://www.metmuseum.org/TOAH/HD/malt/hd_malt.htm Distribution of mobile art in Eastern Europe. 1 Staryé Duruitory, 2 Brynzeny, 3 Kosseoutzy, 4 Klimaoutzy, 5 Suren' 1, 6 Chan-Koba, 7 Apiantcha, 8 grotte d'Uvarov, 9 Sakagia, 10 Sagvardgilé, 11 Gvardgilas-Kldé, 12 Devis-Khvreli, 13 Taro-Kldé, 14 Molodova V, 15 Lissitchniki, 16 Lipa VI, 17 Klinetz, 18 Ossokorovka, 19 Dubovaya Balka, 20 Kaïstrovaya Balka, 21 Mejiritch (Mezhirich), 22 Kievo-Kirillovskaya, 23 Mézine (Mezin), 24 Novgorod Severskyi, 25 Puchkari I, 26 Dobranitchevka, 27 Gontzy, 28, Rogalik, 29 Amvrossievka, 30 Eliseevitchi I, 31 Eliseevitchi II, 32 Yudinovo, 33 Khoylevo II, 34 Timonovka, 35 Suponevo, 36 Avdeevo, 37 Sungir', 38 Gagarino, 39 Kostienki 19, 40 Kostienki 21, 41 Kostienki 13, 42 Kostienki 1, 43 Kostienki 14, 44 Kostienki 12, 45 Kostienki 17, 46 Kostienki 2, 47 Kostienki 11, 48 Kostienki 4, 49 Kostienki 15, 50 Kostienki 9, 51 Kostienki 8, 52 Borchtchevo 1, 53 Borchtchevo 2, 54 Ilskaya, 55 Murakovka, 56 Ostrovskaya, 57 Bez'imyannyi, 58 Smelobskaya, 59 Kapova, 60 Ignatievskaya. Photo: Abramova (1995) The Mal'ta - Buret' culture is an archaeological culture of the Upper Paleolithic (ca. 18 000 to 15 000 BP) on the upper Angara River in the area west of Lake Baikal in the Irkutsk Oblast, Siberia, Russian Federation. The type sites are named for the villages of Mal'ta (Мальта), Usolsky District and Buret' (Буреть), Bokhansky District. Mal'ta consists of semi-subterranean houses that were built using large animal bones to assemble the walls, and reindeer antlers covered with animal skins to construct a roof that would protect the inhabitants from the harsh elements of the Siberian weather. Much of what is known about Mal'ta comes from Russian archaeologist Mikhail Gerasimov. Known in the anthropological community primarily for his contributions to a process called forensic sculpture (the recreation the face of an individual from skeletal remains), Gerasimov first achieved fame for his excavation of Mal'ta in 1927. At the time the discoveries he made were revolutionary for the field of anthropology. Until his findings scientists had not imagined that Upper Paleolithic societies of Northern and Central Asia were capable of the same level of culture as those of Europe. Over the course of his career Gerasimov would twice more visit Mal'ta for excavation and research, each time completing findings that were just as remarkable. Evidence seems to indicate that Mal'ta is the most ancient site in eastern Siberia, however relative dating illustrates some irregularities. The use of flint flaking and the absence of pressure flaking used in the manufacture of tools, as well as the continued use of earlier forms of tools seem to confirm the fact that the site belongs to the early Upper Paleolithic. Yet, it lacks typical skreblos (large side scrapers,) that are common in other Siberian Paleolithic sites. Additionally, other common characteristics such as pebble cores, wedge-shaped cores, burins, and composite tools have never been found. The lack of these features, combined with an art style found in only one other nearby site, make Mal'ta culture unique in Siberia. (text above from Wikipedia) Mikhail Gerasimov with his colleagues in archaeology during the excavations at Mal'ta, 1957 and 1958. Photo: http://www.kunstkamera.ru/en/temporary_exhibitions/virtual/gerasimov/02/ Circular dwelling made with a stone wall base, from Mal'ta, Siberia. Photo: http://www.afghanchamber.com/history/stoneages.htm Mikhail Gerasimov during the excavations at Mal'ta, Siberia, 1958. The habitat occupied the edge of the terrace, parallel to the river bed. He is standing on the archaeological layer of Mal'ta, on the terrace, which is 400 metres long, and the archaeological layer had an average width of 20 metres. Photo: http://www.kunstkamera.ru/en/temporary_exhibitions/virtual/gerasimov/02/ The site is located on a terrace of 15-18 metres and is buried in loessic formations, which are attributed to glaciation. According to Gerasimov, stratigraphy is presented, from top to bottom, as follows: 1. topsoil (thickness: 40 cm to 50 cm). 2. silty layer of dark brown colour (approximate thickness 20 cm) at the top of which were found the remains of the first archaeological layer, of which is known only a small area, about 30 square metres, while the lower archaeological layer is known over an area of 8000 square metres. The material collected in this first layer is assigned by Gerasimov to the Upper Palaeolithic of Europe, the Azilo-Tardenoisian. It consists mainly of large scrapers of Mousterian type, sometimes bifaces, as well as some small nucleus in slices, so it is probably an industry that is similar to the third or fourth stage of the Siberian Paleolithic. 3. light yellow clay, more or less cracked, barren, thickness: 40 to 50 cm. 4. silt of darker yellow appearance, laminated (thickness: 30 to 45 cm), which seems to form the upper soil layer containing the principal archaeological finds of Mal'ta. 5. dark yellow loam, more clayey, with lenses of coarse sand and reddish clay (average thickness: 50 cm). 6. clayey sand, gradually rising to a formation of pebbles, this layer, whose total thickness is 3 metres, lies on the Cambrian limestone bedrock. This main archaeological layer of Mal'ta is known for a length of 400 metres and an average width of 20 metres. It seems that the habitat occupied the edge of a terrace, parallel to the river bed. According to Gerasimov there existed in Mal'ta three housing types: the first, preserved in the form of circular lenses of 3.5 to 4 metres in diameter, probably corresponds to huts built of poles covered with skins and also using reindeer antlers for support, and with a central fireplace. These are probably summer homes. The second type is represented by more or less rectangular houses of with average dimensions of about 4 metres by 3 metres and were semi-subterranean, in that they were excavated, 50 cm to 70 cm into the earth, but they also had small walls rising above the ground using stone slabs arranged vertically , as well as large animal bones, especially mammoth and rhinoceros, with the roof formed by poles and skins, and strengthened by antlers; this general structure of this type of housing directly recalls the houses that were identified at Gagarino. In the centre of these houses, the fireplace was sometimes raised above ground level and was formed by three stone slabs, and topped with ash, burnt bone and charcoal, as well as fragments of wood (birch, fir). Around the fireplace, there were often collections of small pieces of ivory, and female statuettes. Thus, in one of these houses, Gerasimov found four statuettes, including three close together. The third type of habitat is represented by at least two houses, also rectangular and semi-subterranean, built using the same technique the previous ones, but larger. One of them, excavated in 1956, measured 14 metres long by 6 metres wide. These large dwellings had several fireplaces. Gerasimov thinks they were winter houses. It should be emphasised that, unlike the Russian houses of, say, Kostienki and Zaraysk, those of Malta do not have the many and varied pits that they have. There were only a few small pits containing the skeletons of animals at Mal'ta. The archaeological material from the main layer of Mal'ta was collected mainly inside the houses. However, outside, and often on the slope of the terrace, below the living area and above the river, lots of waste was found that may have been thrown out of the houses, and in which were gathered a number of objects, usually arranged higgledy piggledy. Text above translated and adapted from Delporte (1979) Circular tents from Mal'ta, Siberia. These animal hide covered structures were bolstered with stones at the base. Photo: http://www.afghanchamber.com/history/stoneages.htm It is the female figures which form the series of the most important works of Mal'ta: during the various excavations, the number found has been raised to twenty-nine statues, or fragments of statues, of women. Despite some differences, the series presents a remarkable homogeneity, and it is convenient therefore, not to examine them individually, but to draw an identikit picture for them, except to report items that may vary. The Mal'ta series of figurines has twenty-three statuettes either whole or nearly whole, plus three blanks and three fragments, two separate heads. Only two statues are made of reindeer antler, the rest of the series is mammoth ivory. The average height is 72 mm. Text above: Delporte (1979) Figurine, Mal'ta, height 96 mm. Although the largest measures 136 mm and the smallest 31 mm, still they fall into two major groups, with the first having heights from 40 to 45 mm, the second group having heights between 85 and 95 mm. The general proportions of the body do not present at Mal'ta, as they do at Gagarino or Brassempouy, an element of homogeneity: next to slender figures and sometimes very elongated, almost 'filiform' examples, one finds others which, without being truly obese, are at least massive and heavy. The emphasis on detail also varies from one to another statuette, sometimes even from one part to another of the same statue, for example the example here whose face and hair are very neat, but the rest of the body is represented by a cylindrical rod, on which are engraved the pubic triangle, and on both sides, just a line separating one leg from the other. Photo: http://www.nihilum.republika.pl/ Text: Delporte (1979) Female figurine. Mammoth ivory, Mal'ta. Photo (left): http://www.kunstkamera.ru/en/temporary_exhibitions/virtual/gerasimov/02/ Photo (right): Jelinek (1972) Mal'ta figurine, another version of the ones above. Photo: http://www.istmira.com/foto-i-video-pervobytnoe-obschestvo/3924-iskusstvo-predystorii-pervobytnost-2.html Female figurine. Mammoth tusk; engraved. Height 87 mm. Maltinsko-buretskaya Culture. 23 000 - 19 000 BP Mal'ta Site (Excavations of M.M. Gerasimov, 1928-1930), Siberia, the River Belaya, near Irkutsk, Russia Photo and text: http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/ Female Figurines. Mammoth tusk; carved and polished. H. 53, 71, 96 mm. Mal'ta Site (excavations by M.M. Gerasimov, 1928-1930),Siberia, the River Belaya, near Irkutsk, Russia Maltinsko-buretskaya Culture. 23 000 - 19 000 BP Photo and text: http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/ (Some of these figurines remind me irresistibly of children's dolls! - Don ) Statuettes féminines de Mal'ta (Sibérie). Collection Musée de l'Hermitage. Venus figures from Mal'ta (Siberia). Collection Musée de l'Hermitage. Photo and French text: "les mammouths - Dossiers Archéologie - n° 291 - Mars 2004" My thanks to Anya for access to this resource. Venus figures from Mal'ta (Siberia). Photo: Jelinek (1972) Venus figure 134 mm high, 22 000 - 21 000 BP Photo: (left) Jelinek (1972) (right) http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/ This figurine was discovered by Gerasimov near Irkutsk around 1928. 87 mm high. (note discrepancy with height given above - Don) Mammoth Ivory, 22 000 BP, Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia. Photo: Cohen (2003) Venus figures from Mal'ta (Siberia). Photo: http://www.mitchellteachers.net/WorldHistory/MrMEarlyHumansProject/MrMAnalyzingPaleolithicArtAssignment.html Female figurine, Mal'ta. Photo: Jelinek (1972) Female figurine, Mal'ta. Photo: Jelinek (1972) Venus figure from Mal'ta (Siberia), the same as that shown above. Note the pinnate leaf shaped mark on the right breast of this figurine, and the hole drilled in the base, presumably so that it could be worn as a pendant. The arms are joined below the breasts, the hands are not indicated, and the figure has what appears to be a fur hood over her head. The legs are shown meeting at the base of the figurine. Below the arms is what appears to be a belt consisting of linked disks. Note the raised buttocks evident on this piece, a defining characteristic of many Mal'ta figurines. Photo: Don Hitchcock, 2008 Source: Facsimile, Vienna Natural History Museum (left) Figurine, Mal'ta, Height 42 mm, Width 8 mm (right) Figurine, Mal'ta. At first the head on this piece looks grotesquely wide and high, but I think it is just the effect of a face peeking out from a fur head dress. Height 44 mm. Twenty heads are known, isolated or belonging to figurines, but two of them are mere sketches. For all the others, the hair, or hairstyle, is shown. It should be pointed out, however, that in several cases as shown here it is a hairstyle, such as a 'balaclava', for which the hairstyle is indistinguishable from that of clothing. In any case, the hair or hairstyle is long, often narrowly framing the face and falling down the back. For two or three statuettes, this hairstyle is represented only in outline, but more generally, it is marked by incisions, which may be of several types: relatively straight and following the natural movement of long hair, wider and wavy, but mostly in the form of small crescents arranged in various ways or from small circular cupules. Photo (left): http://www.nihilum.republika.pl/ Photo (right and centre): http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/ Text: Delporte (1979) Fur clothing which may have been used at Mal'ta. Photo: © Libor Balák Source: http://paleoetnologie.wz.cz/anglperson.htm Female figurine, Mal'ta. Note the texture on the back of this piece. Height 94 mm. Photo (left): http://www.nihilum.republika.pl/ Photo (right): http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/ One of the most peculiar characteristics of the Mal'ta statuettes is the representation of facial features, which representation, we should remember, is exceptional among the figures of the preceding groups: on the eighteen heads that are not drafts, eleven have clear facial features, and three more are outlined. The eyes, nose and mouth are sometimes depicted with care, although the ears are hidden by thick hair or a hairstyle. The head position is different from that observed for most European statuettes, among which, in fact, the head is slightly bent forward and supported by a thin and well marked neck, in the sense that its width is generally less than or equal to two thirds of that of the head. In Mal'ta, the head is a direct extension of the torso, to which it is attached by a poorly marked neck whose thickness is increased by that of the hair or of the hairstyle coming down on each side to the shoulders. The torso of Mal'ta figures also differs from that of European statuettes, in that the European venus figures are characterised, generally, by the excessive volume of body parts linked to femininity or motherhood: large breasts, most commonly hanging, a large and prominent belly suggesting pregnancy. This is not the case in Mal'ta: for more than half of the statuettes, the breasts are missing; on the other, they are not figured in volume, but only by an outline engraved on the chest, an outline that also shows pendant breasts; on the belly, the navel, which is not indicated, is always flat. Like the belly, the pelvis is hardly wider than the chest and is usually developed without steatopygia (large buttocks) or localised fat deposits due to genetics. The pubic triangle is always represented, either in the form of a small V, or in the form of a large triangle reminiscent of the ultra-stylised figurines of Mezin but there is no representation of vulva. On the posterior, buttocks are normal. The small of the back is shown, sometimes very elevated. If we compare, by looking at them in profile, a statuette of Kostenki and a statuette of Mal'ta, we observe, on the first, a step between the buttocks and thighs, something which does not exist or is only hinted at in the Mal'ta figures. By contrast, we see a sharp elevation or step above the buttocks of Mal'ta figurines. It is this elevation that, combined with a certain extension of the legs for some statuettes, suggested the hypothesis that many of the statuettes of women from Mal'ta are in a semi-sitting position. Most of the Mal'ta figurines have arms, sometimes only sketched, but generally not atrophied, unlike those of many European Venus figures. The hands are missing. We must emphasise that the position of the arms, down along the body to rest on the belly is identical to that of the statues of the European groups. The lower limbs are simplified, albeit in the correct proportions, but they are usually reduced to a kind of spindle more or less ending in a point. The thighs are not particularly more massive than the legs. The articulation of the knees and feet are never indicated. Separation of legs from each other is usually marked by a shallow incision on each side, in one case only, the two incisions are joined in a sort of elongated buttonhole. It should be noted that four more figurines bear a perforation in the feet. A final descriptive element of these statuettes concerns their clothing and adornment. Three cases seem to be distinguished: a. most statuettes of Malta, like those of Europe, do not trace of clothing or adornment. But the forms are sometimes heavy and often quite 'fuzzy', suggesting the possibility of a garment wrapped closely, tight around the whole body: the impression of nudity is, in any case, less convincing than for European statuettes. b. several small figurines --> are undoubtedly dressed: the whole body, including the head - except for the face - is uniformly covered with a decoration that can interpreted as belonging to a fairly tight garment. This decoration is formed by small crescent-shaped cupules or, more often, by transverse incisions, of the type of a 'convict costume ', which follow from the top of the head down to the feet. It should be noted that these dressed statuettes do not have breasts, but the pubic triangle is clearly incised: they are indeed female statuettes. Text above: Delporte (1979) Figurine, Mal'ta. Height 125 mm. Photo (left): http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/ Photo (right): http://www.nihilum.republika.pl/ Condition: No defect - cast of resin., Material: Resin

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