Comparing and Contrasting Female Figures from Ancient Mesopotamia and Central America

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Running head: COMPARING AND CONTRASTING FEMALE FIGURES FROM ANCIENT MESOPOTAMIA AND CENTRAL AMERICA

Comparing and Contrasting Female Figures from Ancient Mesopotamia and Central America Jose Limardo
March 31, 2007

The Female figurine from the Halaf period (6th millennium B.C.) shown here, (http://www.louvre.fr/media/repository/ressources/sources/illustration/atlas/image_65162_v2_m56577569830698503.jpg,) is a full-round, painted terracotta sculpture measuring 8.2 cm (3.2 in.) tall by 5 cm (2 in.) wide by 5.4 cm (2.13 in.) in depth. This symmetrical and smooth textured sculpture depicts a female sitting naked with her arms folded around her breasts. Her position is suggestive of childbirth (Louvre, 2007.) and brown stripes are painted on the body. The female's heads, hands and feet show no details however; her breasts, hips and thighs are exaggerated in size. According to the Louvre, these features suggests the representation of fertility in the form of a "mother goddess" guaranteeing of the regular renewal of life for the Halaf culture; credited with the creation of this piece (2007.) The Female Figure from Mexico: Las Bocas (?) (12th-9th Century B.C) shown here (http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ho/03/ca/hob_1983.424.htm,) is a full round, ceramic sculpture measuring 17 cm (6.75 in.) in height. This symmetrical and smooth textured sculpture depicts a standing female, wearing unusually large earrings; with abnormal facial features and amplified breast, hips and thighs. According to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this type of figurine, during the late second millennium B.C. was commonly described as a fertility figure and it is possible that the hairstyle and earrings (called ear spools,) worn by the female may have been indicative of social status (2000.) The shape of the body and it proportions are said to be possibly influenced from the site it was found, Las Bocas in the present state of Puebla, Mexico (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000.) Both...
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