Zoomorphic clay figurines from Tell Arbid. Preliminary report
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The collection of clay zoomorphic figurines from Tell Arbid, a site in the Khabur river basin in northern Mesopotamia, comprises nearly 600 specimens, dated mainly to the 3rd and first half of the 2nd millennium BC. It consists of solid figurines and the much less numerous wheeled figurines and hollow figurines/zoomorphic vessels, as well as a single rattle in the form of a zoomorphic figurine. The animals represented include chiefly equids, sheep, goats, cattle, dogs and birds. The find context usually does not permit anything but a very broad dating, but an analysis of details of execution makes it possible to establish the chronology of particular objects. Identified chronological assemblages illustrate the character of zoomorphic representations in particular periods. A comparative analysis reveals, among others, diachronic changes in the popularity of representations of particular kinds of animals. These changes are considered in comparison with the results of an examination of the osteological material in an effort to observe whether they could reflect processes taking place in the animal economy of Tell Arbid.
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