Stargazer figures, also known as the ‘Kiliya type’ (after the Turkish village in which they were first found), are one of the earliest types of sculpture aiming to evoke the human form. The term ‘stargazer’ refers to the slight backwards tilt of the head on the figure’s slim neck, as if looking up to the heavens. We can only surmise the intended purpose of the Kiliya, though the unnatural form may suggest the representation of a supernatural being. Their significance was certainly lasting, as is testified by the figures’ popularity well into the Bronze Age. Moreover, although excavations in the ancient city of Troy revealed relatively few stargazer figures preserved in their entirety, fragments (mostly heads) remained prevalent. It appears that such pieces were being preserved as relics by the inhabitants of the city – remnants of a forgotten past. Unfortunately, in the modern day, only about fifteen intact or near-intact figures of this kind worldwide are known to remain, serving further to increase their value as one of the most highly-regarded forms of prehistoric sculpture.
Small Marble Stargazer Head
Miniature head of a stargazer figurine, resting on a narrow neck. When viewed frontally, it is possible to see the broad, stylised head tilting backwards as it would have when attached to the rest of the figure. The head is made of translucent marble and mounted on a wooden stand.
Period: Chalcolithic Period
Condition: Fragment from a larger figure. Otherwise intact and in fine condition, with earthly encrustations covering much of the marble’s surface.