Tag Archives forBronze Age figurines

The Pointed Cap or Helmet

Both the Bronze and Iron Age figurine repertoires include humans wearing a pointed or conical headdress. Most of the figurines wearing conical caps appear to have had the standard standing base. However, some figures wearing the conical helmets also appear to have been attached to the back of horses.

The faces of figurines wearing the pointed helmet are formed using the same techniques as the standing figurines: sharply ridged noses, applied eyes and no apparent mouths. The eyes are perforated in the same way as the Bronze Age figurines. Some helmeted figures from the Bronze Age also appear to have ear lobes, often perforated with large holes, such as those from Selenkahiye.

The cap or helmet on the Bronze Age figurines is also often decorated with tiny incisions. Another piece strikingly similar to those from Iron Age Euphrates sites comes from Çatal Hüyük and depicts a head wearing a pointed cap decorated with a single strip applied around the rim. A second strip runs around the neck, mirroring closely the later style. From the Upper Euphrates basin, similar pieces have been found at Tell Halawa.

 

Figurine wearing the pointed helmet from Tell Halawa, Early Bronze Age (After Meyer, J-W and Pruss, A, 1994, Abb.7:57).

Figurine wearing the pointed helmet from Tell Halawa, Early Bronze Age (After Meyer, J-W and Pruss, A, 1994, Abb.7:57).

 

 

Figurine wearing the pointed helmet (three views) from Tell Halawa, Early Bronze Age (After Meyer, J-W and Pruss, A, 1994, Abb.5:38).

Figurine wearing the pointed helmet (three views) from Tell Halawa, Early Bronze Age (After Meyer, J-W and Pruss, A, 1994, Abb.5:38).

 

Figurine wearing the pointed helmet from Tell Halawa, Early Bronze Age (After Meyer, J-W and Pruss, A, 1994, Abb.7:67).

Figurine wearing the pointed helmet from Tell Halawa, Early Bronze Age (After Meyer, J-W and Pruss, A, 1994, Abb.7:67).

Figurines from Tell Ahmar wearing a pointed helmet:

Figurine from Tell Ahmar wearing a pointed helmet.

Figurine from Tell Ahmar wearing a pointed helmet.

 

Figurine from Tell Ahmar wearing a pointed helmet.

Figurine from Tell Ahmar wearing a pointed helmet.

It seems probable that the standing figurines with elaborate hairstyles represent women. Some are modelled with breasts. Others are not, but this does not mean that they did not represent females. It seems that it was unnecessary to model anatomical evidence of sex. Rather, it appears, as with the Iron Age figurines, that some images were modelled with breasts if that was the wish of the maker. This feature does not appear to have beenessential to the understanding of the significance of the standing figurines. Indeed, the sex/gender of the figurine is likely to have simply been understood by those who made them without it having to be deliberately modelled.

The figurines with pointed helmets are never depicted with breasts, either in the Bronze or Iron Ages, strongly suggesting that they represent men. The excavations at Selenkahiye yielded at least four figurines wearing the conical helmet who had incised beards as well. Furthermore, many of these individuals were also modelled with perforations through the arm stumps, a feature also noted within figurine assemblages from Tell Halawa, Tell Hadidi and Habuba Kabira.