Sardinian marble head of an idol

Aeneolithic, Ozieri culture, late 4th Millenium B.C.
H. 10.4 cm (4 3⁄32 in)

Coins and Antiquities, London, 1981
Private collection Switzerland, acquired from the above

J. Thimme
Art and Culture of the Cyclades, Chicago and London, 1977, p. 577, no. 580

Sardinian idols from the Ozieri culture can be broadly categorized into two distinct groups: the so-called cruciform or full plaque type and the perforated plaque type (see pp. 86-87 in L. Sarti and F. Martini, “Early Human Figures from Sardinia,” in: A. Caubet, ed., Idols: The Power of Images). This example, with its long neck and circular face, belongs to the latter category, and would have been attached to a figure with a triangular or trapezoidal-shaped body with arms that join to the hips at 90-degree angles (for a complete example, see no. 7b in F. Jurgeit, et al., Kunst Sardiniens). While previous scholarship highlighted the affinities between Cycladic and Sardinian idols and suggested an Aegean influence over Sardinian production, Sarti and Martini (op. cit., p. 89) note that this theory is now seen as obsolete, as corroborated by the chronological gap between the two cultures.

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