News | Published:

Research Items


    THE SAVIGNANO STATUETTE.—M. Raymond Vaufrey in T. 36, Nos. 5.6 of L'Anthropologie, discusses the possible dating of the female statuette in serpentine discovered at Savignano, in the province of Modena, northern Italy, some three years ago, and now in the Museum of Ethnography and Prehistory of Rome. The question is of some importance in relation to the occurrence of different phases of the palpeolithic period in the Po valley; but in default of stratigraphic evidence, it depends entirely upon morphological considerations. The statuette is 225 mm. high, and, if it be of paloeolithic age, is the largest of these figures yet discovered. Its material is presumably of local origin, as similar serpentine occurs in the neighbouring Appenines of Emilia. The superficial details of the sculpture are much worn. In form the statuette is an elongated ellipse with the arms pressed close against the body; the legs join, the oblique position of the line of division suggesting the action of walking; the feet are not indicated. The head is a prolongation of the body without indication of a neck, and is pointed, the general appearance being as of a head-dress falling over the shoulders. The breasts, abdomen, and thighs are prominent but beautifully sculptured. The genitalia are not indicated. The statuette is markedly steatopygous. Italian archaeologists are not in agreement as to its probable age, one school represented by M. P. Graziozi attributing it to the Aurignacian, while M. U. Antonielli considers it neolithic. The statuette, however, strikingly resembles those of Barma Grande. The position of the arms clasped on the breasts is characteristic of the paloeolithic type, for in statuettes of later date the hands support the breasts. Notwithstanding the absence hitherto of evidence of the Aurignacian in the Po valley, its occurrence on other sites in Italy supports the attribution to this period.

    Rights and permissions

    Reprints and Permissions

    About this article


    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.