The Gritille Figurine Sample

The Gritille figurine industry is far more diverse than that from Hajji Firuz. Most of the figures were small and made of clay, but there were also rare stone figurines of humans (Figures 4 and 5; see also Voigt 1985:Figure 1014). The clay figures included humans and animals, and within each category there was significant variation in form. Animal figurines could be recognized as representations of different species, the most common, being cattle. Human figurines ranged from the highly schematic to relatively realistic.

All but one of the nearly fifty clay figurine fragments recovered was found in a ashy deposits, including roasting pits, other ash-filled pits, and ashy layers of trash. The largest groups of figures and fragments (often accompanied by sealings and tokens) were found inside roasting pits, sealed beneath a cobble floor that was the roasting surface (Voigt 1985:Figure8a-c). Associated within a single pit were intact figurines, figurine pieces, and shapeless lumps of lightly baked clay. The fragile but intact surfaces of the clay figures suggest that they were carefully handled, and in the case of figures from roasting pits it is clear that figurine manufacture and disposal were closely linked. Based on condition and location I suggest that a large number of figures were made, placed inside the pit, subjected to fire (thus explaining the ash matrix in which they were found), and then capped with cobbles. This scenario would explain the numerous fired fragments and lumps found in roasting pits: unbaked figures sometimes baked and preserved, but sometimes they simply exploded in an uncontrolled firing. The sole exception to this distribution pattern is a battered clay quadruped found on an exterior surface.

Figure 4. Human figurines from Gritille: (a,c) stone; all others clay; scale: 1/2.

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