Figurine

From Academic Kids

A rare   figurine
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A rare Dresden porcelain figurine
Figurine is a diminutive form of the word figure, and generally refers to a small human-made statue that represents a human (or deity or animal). They are typically smaller than life-size, and may be realistic or iconic depending on the skill and intention of the creator. The earliest figurines were made of stone; more recent creations are also made of ceramic, metal, wood, plastic, etc.

The earliest figurines are often of pregnant female women, and are called Venus figurines, in reference to their presumed representation of a female goddess, or in any case some connection to fertility. The two oldest so far are made of stone, were found in Africa and Asia, and are several hundred thousand years old. Many more have been found that date to 25-30,000 BC in Europe, and are the oldest ceramic known. If the earlier finds are genuine, they are one of the first signs of human culture.

We cannot know for certain how they were used. They probably had religious or ceremonial significance, and been used in marriage and other rituals. They may also have been meant to amuse, that is, children in particular (a crying infant for example). Some may have been worn as jewelry.

A more recent adaptation is the use of figurines in board games, such as chess. Players of tabletop role playing games often use miniatures to represent their characters' position and facing on a map.

Figures with movable parts (e.g. allowing limbs to be posed) have also been developed, but these are more likely to be called dolls or action figures (or robots or automata if they can move on their own).

Old figurines have been used to discount some historical theories, such as the origins of chess.

See also

fa:تندیسک fr:Figurine sv:Figurin

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