27 October 2013

Thai antiques collector notes a similarity between Hoabinian culture stone figure from near Hanoi, Vietnam, and a figure from Çatalhöyük, Turkey, 7150km away

Hoabinian culture (Hòa Binh) figure from near Hanoi, Vietnam, ca 16,000 -10,000 years before present
Tira Vanichtheeranont collection, Bangkok, Thailand

Obverse view

Areas of suspected human modification: fingers on right hand, navel, left arm and hand definition, faint remnants of two eyes and a mouth.

Turkish figures: Tira Vanichtheeranont noticed similarity with the figure at right here, from Çatalhöyük, to his doll from Vietnam, both depicted with right arms bent at the elbow

Tira writes: "I got that doll from a friend who is an archeologist in Vietnam. He told me that doll is from Hòa Binh Culture, north of Vietnam, near Hanoi City. After I have this doll, I try to get more information on Google and finally, I got the article of these dolls from Turkey."


The Indus Valley may be thought of as the geographic "mid-point" on a journey between Vietnam and Turkey. One wonders if the "bent arm" figuration is simply an expression of a universal aesthetic appeal of its visual form, or whether it may be an iconographic representation with a related or shared symbolic meaning across time and distance. This figure has a composition more in line with our contemporary art sense than the nature-based Vietnam and Turkey figures. Though a few thousand years old, she seems to be saying "Where have you been and why you smell like perfume?"

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