Figurative Representations in the North European Neolithic—Are They There?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


  • Fulltext

    Final published version, 0.99 MB, PDF document

This article offers a comprehensive survey of figurative finds from Neolithic northern Europe. The survey shows that the immediate absence of figurative representation in the region is real and that the almost complete lack of figuration stands out from the previous Mesolithic and the contemporary northern and northeastern European Neolithic hunter-gatherer groups. Furthermore, the absence of figurative representations contrasts strongly with the thousands of clay figurines that characterize the southeastern European and Anatolian Neolithic. The survey provides a well-documented basis for discussing the significant differences between a figurative southeastern European Neolithic and an imageless northwestern European Neolithic. We suggest that the absence of figurative representations indicates that severe socio-cultural and religious/ideological changes took place within the Neolithic communities as agriculture spread from southeastern Europe via central Europe to northern and western Europe.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCambridge Archaeological Journal
Number of pages19
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2024

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - Neolithic Europe, Figurines, Figurative representations, Prehistoric art, Neolithization, Socio-cultural change, Religious/ideological change

Number of downloads are based on statistics from Google Scholar and

No data available

ID: 387033046