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Statuette of a Woman: "The Stargazer"

3000 BC

Early Bronze Age, Western Anatolia?, 3rd Millennium BC


Overall: 17.2 x 6.5 x 6.3 cm (6 3/4 x 2 9/16 x 2 1/2 in.)

Weight: 453.592 g (16 oz.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund; John L. Severance Fund 1993.165

Image Credit: Cleveland Museum of Art


"The Stargazer" is a small marble statue carved more than 5,000 years ago. It is one of only about 30 known to exist and is one of the earliest sculptures of the human figure in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s collection.

Stargazer is pure and simple in form with an oval-shaped head that looks up toward the heavens. Details carved into the stone are visible; however, painted features have been lost to time. The sculpture has no mouth, her nose is an elongated ridge, and her small, circular eyes are done in the slightest of relief. The figure can be identified as female by the incised triangular lines below the pelvic area. These same lines define the legs and stop at the feet, which appear to be held tightly together and are her narrowest point.

Thought to be from Western Anatolia, she is carved from a translucent marble that emulates a soft flesh when polished, which adds to the figure’s mystical quality. The Stargazer cannot stand on her own, suggesting that she may have been meant to be held or to lay down. The female form may be associated with fertility and abundance.

While it is not known how this object was used, her mysterious nature invites speculation. Her modernist form gives her a sense of timelessness as her upturned head draws attention away from herself to what is above and outside.


Mikolic A. Statuette of a Woman: The Stargazer is a ‘must see’ at the CMA. Cleveland Museum of Art. Published February 1, 2019. https://medium.com/cma-thinker/statuette-of-a-woman-the-stargazer-is-a-must-see-at-the-cma-3d2d64115c7d

Statuette of a Woman: “The Stargazer” c. 3000 BC. Cleveland Museum of Art. Accessed January 26, 2022. https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1993.165

DOI: https://doi.org/10.20411/pai.v7i1

Published: 2022-02-02

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