|Blanco de la Rubia via Valera, Evangelista, Castanheira (2014)|
There's several interesting out-takes from the Valera, Evangelista, Castanheira paper on Zoomorphic Figurines of Neolithic and Early Chalcolithic Iberia. For now, I'll just make a few comments on this horse.
Zoomorphic vessels are not exceedingly abundant in Iberia but several have been taken from funerary contexts, like all other zoomorphic creatures. The vessels feature birds, pigs, cows and this one horse.
For a wild and free animal, this horse looks cumbersome and burdened. On it's own merits, it'll never resolve the debate of horse domestication in Iberia much less its own categorization, but it's depiction needs to be remembered as discussion on morphology and genetics continues in Europe.
It appears to be a bird from the order of Galliformes. Is is a native black grouse hen? or a chicken hen?
It's head shape looks like a grouse, a fat, wild bird used for eggs and meat. In Iberia, this would probably be the black grouse, a bird distantly related to chickens.
Domesticated chickens (jungle fowl) appear in Europe around this time (West and Zhou (1988, 1989) also (Zlatozar Boev, 2009) Either way, it looks more like a captive bird than a wild and free bird.
The 'vessel-ization' of these animals seems to me to indicate these animals were viewed as resources for exploitation, not idealizations.
Valera, António Carlos, Lucy Shaw Evangelista, and Patrícia Castanheira. "ZOOMORPHIC FIGURINES AND THE PROBLEM OF HUMAN-ANIMAL RELATIONSHIPIN THE NEOLI-THIC AND CHALCOLITHIC SOUTHWEST IBERIA."