NEW DATES FROM ZVEJNIEKI BURIAL GROUND GRAVES WITH ANTHROPOMORPHIC AND ZOOMORPHIC FIGURINES

Ilga Zagorska, John Meadows, Marius Iršėnas

Abstract


This article discusses the imagery of anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figurines which accompanied eleven burials in the Stone Age cemetery at Zvejnieki, Latvia. These burials date to the sixth, fifth and early-mid fourth millennia cal BC, according to radiocarbon dates of human remains from ten of the eleven burials, three of which were dated for this paper. The figurines are considered in terms of their characteristic formal qualities and their position within graves. Parallels are drawn with similar finds from elsewhere in the Baltic region. The imagery employed appears to be based on observations of nature, the fishing and hunting lifeways of these communities, and their beliefs concerning life after death, which were not apparently affected by the transitions from Mesolithic to Neolithic, and between Early Neolithic Narva culture and Middle Neolithic Typical Comb Ware Culture.

Key words: Zvejnieki, Stone age, Burial ground, Radiocarbon dating, Anthropomorphic and Zoomorphic figurines

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15181/ab.v25i0.1833


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