AEGEAN LECTURES | 2016
Interpretive approaches to prehistoric figurines (in Greek)
Figurines have always constituted a distinct class of archaeological material both literally, as far as researchers have differentiated them from other artefacts, and in terms of value, as they have been given a special power: the ability to act as a proxy for ancient people’s minds. No matter what the answer is to the question “what is a figurine?”, the question itself perpetuates a single essential approach, with meagre results no less. Even the more recent call for multi-functionality does not seem to escape this conundrum. In this context, therefore, what really matters is to change the question. This change should focus on specific objects: not on figurines in general but on figurines from Revenia, Prodromos, Makriyalos, Vasilika, Rachmani, Franchthi, Kephala, Louros, and so on. We should concentrate on the ‘where’ and the ‘how’ and on their effects: What do these figurines depict and how do they depict it? Where and how are they deposited? And what constitutes an object in any given case? This presentation will attempt not to offer a general interpretation of figurines but to highlight the places that these objects defined, so that people may live a sanctioned life. What were those places, and who could actually inhabit them?