Stargazer: Quick Bite

Happy Friday! Today on Museum Quick Bites we’re turning our sights toward the night sky with The Stargazer (c3000 BCE) an ancient statue from the Bronze Age.

The Stargazer (c3000 BCE), possibly Western Anatolia, Cleveland Museum of Art, photo by cjverb (2021)

On display at the Cleveland Museum of Art, this delightful statuette gazes upward to the heavens. Note her tiny protruding eyes, pointed nose, small ears, and long slender neck. Her arms, sans hands, are bent upward toward her chest. Note the delicate triangle incised in her pelvic area which identifies this petite statue as female. With her legs and tiny feet clamped tightly together, her arms folded, and eyes turned skyward she appears to be striking a contemplative pose. Is she lost in thought? Prayer? Or just enjoying a peaceful moment?

Close-Ups of The Stargazer (c3000 BCE) possibly Western Anatolia, Cleveland Museum of Art, photo by cjverb (2021)

Discovered near Kırşehir, Turkey, The Stargazer is of the Kiliya type, named for the northwestern Turkish site where the first of these statutes was discovered. Ranging in size from 2 ½ to 9 inches tall, Kiliya type statues are rare. The Stargazer is almost 7 inches tall and one of only 15 discovered found intact. Archaeologists theorize these statues were associated with a woman’s fertility and life cycle. Several have been unearthed with the necks snapped in what is believed to be a ritual killing that took place when the owner was buried. Click on this Stargazer link, courtesy of Christies to learn more.

Left: Kilia Type Statue (c4500-3500 BCE), Anatolia, J. Paul Getty Museum

Right: Kiliya Type Statue (4360-3500 BCE), Museum of Cycladic Art, photo by Zde, Wikimedia Commons

That concludes our brief look at The Stargazer. I’ll be back next week with more Museum Quick Bites, until then be safe, be kind, and take care 🙂

Cover art by Gerd Altmann, courtesy of Pixabay.


Britannica: Anatolia Early Bronze Age
Christies: Anatolian Marble Female Idol of Kiliya Type (3300-2500 BCE)
Cleveland Museum of Art: Stargazer Marble Statuette (c3000 BCE)
J. Paul Getty Museum: Female Figure of the Kilia Type (4500-3500 BCE)
Museum of Fine Arts Boston: Female Idol Kiliya Type (4500-4000 BCE)
Wikimedia Commons

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