Idole cykladzkie. Krótka charakterystyka źródeł oraz kilka refleksji na temat funkcji i znaczenia

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This paper will shortly describe some aspects of Cycladic sculpture consisting mostly of marble female figurines with several figurines of male musicians and rare examples of warriors and groups. Traditionally these figures are referred to as “idols” implying the possible meaning of anthropomorphic images of gods. What should be mentioned here is the uniqueness of the whole group together with consistent usage of marble – the material requiring considerable artisan skills of stone-cutting - and with remarkable, suggestive uniformity of style, yet allowing the inner evolution of forms. Around mid-III millennium BC this evolution eventually stimulated the creation of as called “canonical” image: sublime, simplified and geometrical with the arms folded over the abdomen. Simple, synthetic form of vertical, geometrical structure meets the expressiveness of large, flat surfaces, commonly enriched with painted patterns. Despite numerous publications still no complex analysis of function and meaning has been proposed. The archaeological findings indicate possibility of various functions rather then one only. The question of symbolism may never be fully answered due to fragmentary character of available resources. The complexity of a social context within the islander population during the thousand years of early Bronze period also prevents us from developing detailed explanations. Archaeological data partially supports the theories of predominantly funeral meanings of the idols, since most of them have been found in graves - usually together with other objects demonstrating clearly sepulchral character. It is possible that from the very beginning the idols have been manufactured to this very purpose i.e. to become parts of funeral inventory. Figurines might have played an important function in the funeral rites, being finally laid down in graves as votive offerings. But another possible functions and meanings for the figures have been proposed lately on the basis of painted motifs, the archaeological contexts and ethnographic parallels. They could play an active role in various rituals, storytelling, educating over the course of their use-life in the community. What more some painted motifs may have been applied with association with important events: initiations into adult groups, marriage, pregnancy and birth giving, sea venture, and, ultimately, the voyage to the next world.




Cycladic Idols, Aegean Bronze Age


Bugaj Ewa, Idole cykladzkie. Krótka charakterystyka źródeł oraz kilka refleksji na temat funkcji i znaczenia. Eurazja i Antyk, eds. A. Bednarczuk, E. Bugaj, W. Rządek, Poznań: Instytut Prahistorii Uniwersytetu im. A. Mickiewicza. s. 151-178.




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Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego