Thursday, July 22, 2010

Unearthed - the exhibition

I grew up in Skopje, surrounded by the archaeological sites in the vicinity of my neighbourhood. Skopje geographically is not a big city, only 22 km long, and 12 km wide. But Skopje lies on more than 20 Neolithic registerd sites by now, and we even didn't finished our prospection. This is very special, because one of the perals - Tumba Madzari, is the site which is very close to my home. I had a chance to work there as a student, and later on collaborative projects. Tumba Madzari yilded amount of artefacts, including the figurines of Mother Goddess, typologicaly and morphologicaly unique for Republic of Macedonia.

Mother Goddess from Tumba Madzari (Macedonia)

From a chronological point of view, the Macedonian Neolithic can be subdivided into three separate phases (Early, Middle, and Late) in accordance with the periodization applied for the South-East European Neolithic (VI-IV milenium). This chronology is general and basically made by macroscopicaly comparison of pottery ornamentation with simultaneous parallel similar cultures. There are rare cases when some material is C14 dated.

This is a poster I made as a guest to the 14th Neolithic seminar, held in Ljubljana in 2007, within the Documenta Praehistorica. The patterns are taken from the pottery of Tumba Mrshevci, but acctualy, this kind of patterns are visible in Neolithic everywhere around the world, even in a remote areas where the Jomon pottery is spread.

Currently there is a big exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, named as Unearthed. This exhibition featuring prehistoric figurines from Japan, Romania, Macedonia, Albania, and the UK. It brings new and fresh approach to prehistoric world, showing to us the common Neolithic patterns, or they were just interweaving cultures. A figurines of prehistoric women of Macedonia are being displayed in Britain, within this exhibition, dating from the middle of the 6th millennium until the first half of the 3rd millennium B.C (Neolithic and Eneolithic).

Jōmon figurines and fragments from Sannai Maruyama
Japan, Middle Jōmon Period © Aomori Prefectural Board of Education

I specialized chipped stone industry, but I love Neolithic art left by our ancestors. The prehistoric figurines from Macedonia reached the wider public and it will undoubtedly attract attention concerning the question about the spatial and temporal boundaries of the world Neolithic societies. And that makes me so proud of my cultural heritage. :)

Some Neolithic and Eneolithic female figurines
from Republic of Macedonia

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