Inside the Dwelling: Clay Figurines of the Jägala Jõesuu V Stone Age Settlement Site (Estonia)
Sculpted clay figurines were widespread in Stone Age Europe. They
were common in the hunter-gatherer communities in the territories
of Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Western and Northwestern
Russia. In these territories they were mainly associated with the
Comb, Pitted and Pit-Comb Ware cultures, ca 4000–2000 years
calBC. This paper examines clay sculptures from the Jägala Jõesuu
V Comb Ware culture settlement site in northern Estonia, where 91
fragments of figurines were found, making it the most abundant
deposits of clay figurines and their fragments in the eastern Baltic.
Among them, three different types of image were distinguished:
one zoomorphic (harbour porpoise) and two anthropomorphic. All
the figurines were fragmented intentionally in ancient times, as
determined by microscopic and experimental research. Most of the
fragments were situated in the filling of a pit-house, which indicates
that the dwelling had a sacral as well as a habitational dimension.
During the research process, Stone Age clay figurines from nine more
Comb Ware culture sites of Estonia and Ingria were catalogued. The
catalogue contains 13 previously published and 21 newly discovered
instances and radiocarbon dates taken at the sites, some of which
are being published for the first time.