12,000 Years old Birth of the Sexualized Fertility Goddess Archetype,
The rise of Patriarchy, and the Split of Women’s Status
To me, the possibility of goddess symbolism as well as the beginnings of patriarchy which may go as far back as around 12,000 years ago as a point leading to its beginning. And yet the first written establishment of women’s rights is around 4,000 years ago and at the same time, from around 12,000 years ago women who were somewhat respected or in admiration (such as shamans) and existed in relative egalitarianism in general but this began to change and began to increasingly not be seen as special or magical but as an object, since animals were being domesticated and humans started understanding birthing women in a general way started to be seen as an object to domesticate with the beginnings of patriarchy. At this time, it seems the female goddess figurines/archetypes/avatars are seen to split into two different personalities: Good girl (most of them) and Bad girl (especially later in India), domesticated and undomesticated. Most archetype of sexualized fertility goddess symbolism or features seem to be that of the domestic woman and only a few are the undomesticated highly sexualized and highly powerful, from the extremes of feminism to highly promiscuous. Around 13,000 years ago, most likely all goddesses originate but the domesticated one may have originated thousands of years ago with all the venus figurines that go why back to the beginnings of human totemistic religion expression presumably the venus of Hohle Fels dated to between around 40,000 to 35,000 years ago though it is likely more akin to an artifact of hunting magic, a spirit or ancestor who knows. Although some of those figurines could have been seen as toys or for some other unknown reason, however, the difference around 12,000 years ago, a new and very non-toy like set of images and figurines were found that are highly sexualize and seems more like pornography instead toys for children. Moreover, around 12,000 years ago there seems to be increased development of fertility cults and the beginnings of the birth/sex goddess paganistic symbolism. There seemed to be many of the “bad girl/undomesticated woman” expressed in lajja gauri/sheila-na-gig styles of sexualized fertility cult goddesses, which are similar as well as recurring and seemingly both connected and disconnected to the mother goddess religious beliefs or religious beliefs. Shaktism cults are connected to the early depictions of lajja gauri found on Indus Valley seals. The Indus/ Harappan script dates to between around 5,500 to 3,900 years ago. Shaktism (doctrine of the goddess) is a major tradition of hinduism female is considered to comprise metaphysical reality and the goddess is supreme and includes a variety of goddesses, all considered aspects of the same supreme goddess. Shaktism’s goddesses evolved more adding to its pantheon of goddesses after the decline of buddhism in India, wherein hindu and buddhist goddesses were combined to form the Mahavidya, a list of ten goddesses. Shaktism encompasses a nearly endless variety of beliefs and practices from primitive animism to the philosophical paganistic seeking to access the Shakti (divine energy) considered to comprise metaphysical reality of the goddesses’ nature. Similar ideas to the shaktism religious thinking is found in Jainism (vidya and shasana devis), in buddhism (tantric buddhism), in sikhism (Shakta goddesses, particularly chandi seen as a fierce warrior) and I am not trying to say that lajja gauri or Shaktism where at the beginning from around 12,000 years ago, just they offer a similar frame of reference to add in conceptual understanding of the ideas involved in this early expression of ritualistic/cultural behaviors in relation to the possibility of the beginnings of patriarchy. This archetype of sexualized fertility goddess seems to embody other goddesses, she has a sexualized aspect, but she can be a mother or warrior too. However, it is how she is different from the others, not just mothers, protectors, or leaders, this goddess is associated with abundance and fertility involving erotic pleasure and sexual intercourse. Furthermore, this goddess archetype’s artistic representations, most often, involves a nude fertility cult goddess/ancestor/spirit who offers herself with her legs apart and a prominent available vulva (presumably for sex but for some berthing could also apply. Further, most fertility goddesses the world over are not completely similar but many are shown as headless, faceless and some are even dead faced, while giving prominent focus to the genitals. Here are a few possible ideas to explain why a female/goddess figurine would be headless, faceless or dead faced. One reason is there where totemistic objects referencing a spirit, force of nature (such as fertility), or clan ancestor/shaman that where are in time went on seen as something to control, domesticate and dominate and thus females became generally seen as just objects. Another reason is that it could have ties with the skull cult, which saw removing the head as removing the essence of the person. Therefore, the fact that a goddess would be represented without a head or face could symbolize she was not human or a dead human. This archetype of sexualized fertility goddess as times is displayed with arms bent, usually upwards, which could be seen as connecting bull’s horns or expressing moon cycles. After 12,000 years ago paganism likely gets polytheism where this style of archetype of sexualized fertility goddess seems to split some from the mother/birth goddess cult. She starts off as looking female then becomes more stylize and symbolic in some regions such as a frog as well as a symbol; such as a swastika or is expressed more sexualized and has been sometimes interpreted as the creator deity and the oldest representation in some countries. Though the swastika archetype is not always an archetype sexualized fertility goddess representation, its origins are interconnected with this archetype and other female deities and animal spirits as far back as 12,000 years ago in Mezin, Ukraine and likely used as a type of magic in rituals. The four arms of the swastika may represent the four 4 aspects of nature: sun/fire, wind, water, or soil, the four seasons, or crude symbolized lunar crescent calendar which is similar to the lunar crescent that is common later in islam. The jewish/kabbalah “star of David” hexagram has been used, without identifying a male, to represent a jewish mystical concept which is why it is thought to originate as a symbol of a calendar system, representing the 12 months of a year. The first archetype sexualized fertility goddess, as a swastika reference, seems clearer in a 9,000 years old green frog goddess swastika pendent from the Balkans. Around 7,500 to 6,800 years ago in northern Mesopotamia/Iraq and in the Hassuna-Samarra of the north and east Fertile Crescent where the swastika archetype is depicted on pottery as four goddesses or four animals. The archetype of sexualized fertility goddess was found as a 12,000 years old carving on a rock floor at Gobekli Tepe Turkey, around 9,000 to 8,000 years old represented wall figures at Catal Huyuk, Turkey, around 9,000 years old clay figurine at Hacilar, Turkey, around 8,300 years old figurine in Greece, around 8,300 to 8,000 years old figurine in Serbia, around 6,600 to 6,500 years old stone pendent in Macedonia, around 6,000 years old figurine and pottery art in China, around 5,000 years old rock carving in Croatia, around 5,000 years old rock art in Philippines, around 5,000 years old figures, statues, carvings, paintings, and textiles in India, and around 4,000 years old gold figures and a gold seal in Turkmenistan just to stylistically reference but a few archetype of sexualized fertility goddesses. After 4,000 years, there are many countries and/or cultures around the world with similar archetype of sexualized fertility style goddess designs or connected hidden symbolic iconography such as a swastika archetype used by Sumerians, Mediterranean, and Indus Valley Civilization as well as the Turkey, India, Iran, Armenia, Nepal, China, Japan, Korea, and Europe. This symbolism was most widely used by hindus, jainas, buddhists, and Celtic as brigit’s cross for the Celtic goddess brigit, also used by wiccans. For some, there is a distinction between right-hand “clockwise” swastikas and left-hand “counterclockwise” swastikas or sauvastikas, which stands for goddess, and magical practices. The right-hand swastika is considered a solar symbol or sun cross, whereas the left-hand swastika often represents the goddess lakshmi “wellbeing” or goddess kali, both positive and aggressive.
5,500 Years old birth of the State, the rise of Hierarchy, and the fall of Women’s status
5,500 -3,000 Years Ago – (Egypt), found nude badarian cultural artifact Female figurine with bird traits as well as her arms are raised as either she is flying or her arms are a bull’s horns. Could this be a representation of Nut a nude goddess of the sky who depicted as having bird arms or a bull. She was the sky and a symbol of protecting the dead when they enter the afterlife. Moreover, among her jobs was to envelop and protect Ra sun god as well as re-birthing of Ra every morning. about 5,200–5,000 years ago there is more elaborate grave goods in burials and there is writing. Predynastic Period— the Naqada culture— derives its name from the site of Naqada, in Upper Egypt with a vast cemetery of more than 3,000 graves with an unusual nature compared with those previously known in Egypt, humble burials consisted of little more than the body of the deceased in foetal position, wrapped in an animal skin, sometimes covered by a mat, and most often deposited in a simple pit hollowed out of the sand. None of the offerings accompanying the deceased corresponded to the usual hallmarks of pharaonic civilization, pottery vessels of black-topped polished red ware, zoomorphic schist palettes, combs and spoons of bone or ivory, and flint knives and other artefacts. The first Naqada phase (Amratian) lies between 6,000 and 5,500 years ago, followed by the second phase (Gerzean), from 5,500 to 5,200 years ago, and the final Predynastic phase runs from 5,200 to 5,000 years ago. several thousand Predynastic graves between them (15,000 for the whole Predynastic Period). Naqada III extended all over Egypt and was characterized by some notable firsts: The first hieroglyphs, The first graphical narratives on palettes, & The first truly royal cemeteries. The Amratian 6,000 to 5,500 years ago is not different from the earlier Badarian possibly around 7,000 years ago flourishing around 6,400 to 6,000 years ago. The burial rituals and the grave goods that both may share a connection. In general, the Amratian dead were buried in simple oval pits in a contracted position, lying on the left side with the head pointing south, looking towards the west. A mat was placed on the ground below the deceased, and sometimes the head rested on a pillow of straw or leather. Another mat or the skin of an animal, covered or enclosed the deceased and most covered the offerings. Although simple burials of single individuals were in the majority, multiple burials were also fairly frequent, most notably involving a woman (possibly the mother) and a newborn infant. Compared with the previous period, larger burial places appeared, provided with coffins of wood or earth, and more lavishly equipped. Although plundered, the Amratian tombs of Hierakonpolis are remarkable for their rectangular form and unusual size. In two instances, the inclusion of magnificent disc-shaped porphyry maceheads probably indicates the burials of powerful individuals. The Amratian culture differs from the Badarian in terms of types of grave goods and consequent signs of hierarchy. Pottery holds white painted designs comprising geometrical, animal, and vegetal motifs seem to be the beginnings of an iconography at the core of pharaonic civilization. Human figures were present into two different types with hunting most prominent, and the second is the victorious warrior. The depiction comprises two human figures among plant motifs; the larger figure, with stalks or plumes fastened in his hair, lifts his arms above his head, while his virility is unequivocally marked by a penis or penis sheath. Interlaced ribbons descending from between his legs may represent decorated cloth. A white line emerges from the larger figure’s chest and wraps around the neck of the second figure, a much smaller person with long hair. A swelling on the back of the smaller figure could represent bound arms suggest conqueror and the vanquished domination appears to be the prototype of traditional scenes of victory in the pharaonic phase. The graves and the funerary offerings indicate not so much increasing hierarchization as a tendency towards social diversity in the Naqada I culture. The offerings in this period appeared initially to be intended simply to mark the identity of the deceased. It is not until the Naqada II phase 5,500 to 5,200 years ago (and even more so Naqada III) that larger accumulations of funerary artefacts are clearly in evidence. The funerary statuettes are particularly significant. Both men and women are represented standing, more rarely seated, with emphasis on the primary sexual characteristics. Only a few of the thousands of excavated tombs contained such statuettes, and usually they occurred only singly, groups of two or three in one tomb being comparatively rare. The maximum number found in a single burial was a set of sixteen figurines. Based on an analysis of the other offerings, the tombs that contained multiple statuettes were not particularly rich in other respects, and such small sculpted figures were sometimes the sole funerary offering. The use of copper and flint knives as funerary offerings raises the same kind of question during the Naqada II phase. Found on small throwsticks of carved ivory or on the tips of hippopotamus or elephant tusks, the one repeated feature of these representations is the presence of a triangular beard, often balanced by a sort of ‘phrygian’ cap pierced by a suspension hole. Unlike women, men were no longer being solely identified by their primary sexual characteristics, but by a secondary sexual characteristic and the social status that this conferred on them. The beard was evidently a symbol of power, and, in the form of the ceremonial ‘false beard’, it later became strictly reserved for the chins of kings and gods. Another symbol of power that characterizes the Naqada I phase is the disc-shaped macehead, usually carved from a hard stone, but sometimes also occurring in softer materials such as limestone, terracotta, or even unfired pottery, and cosmetic palettes constituted the item of choice for funerary equipment during the Amratian. These palettes exploded into a diversity of forms, from a simple oval shape, sometimes incised with figures of animals, to complete zoomorphs (animal imagery or deities depicted in animal form). The picture derived from the analysis of the tombs and their contents is of a structured and diversified society, with a tendency towards hierarchical organization traits of pharaonic civilization can already be seen in embryonic form. The Naqada II phase was characterized primarily by expansion, as the Gerzean culture extended from its source at Naqada northwards towards the Delta (Minshat Abu Omar) and southwards as far as Nubia. There was a distinct acceleration of the funerary trend first seen in the Amratian, whereby a few individuals were buried in larger, more elaborate tombs containing richer and more abundant offerings. Gerzean cemeteries comprise a wide range of grave types, ranging from small oval or round pits, poorly provided with offerings, to burials in pottery vessels and the construction of rectangular pits subdivided by mud-brick partitions, with specific compartments for offerings. There were coffins of wood and air-dried pottery, as well as the first indications of the wrapping of the body in strips of linen. Early ‘mummification’ of this type is attested in a double tomb at Adaïma, an Upper Egyptian site near Hierakonpolis. The Naqada II burials generally remained simple, but multiple burials, containing up to five individuals, became more common. Funerary rituals appear to have become more complex, sometimes involving dismemberment of the body, a practice that was not attested in the preceding period. A tomb at Naqada had a series of long bones and five crania were arranged along the tomb walls, and at Adaïma there are some examples of skulls detached from their torsos. The possibility of human sacrifice at Naqada, and two cases of throat slitting followed by decapitation have been identified at Adaïma. Possible evidence for self-sacrifice could be an early prelude to the mass human sacrifices around the Early Dynastic royal tombs at Abydos, which represented a turning point in the emergence of the Egyptian kingship of the Dynastic Period. Art depictions of a boat represents both a mode of travel and a status symbol which from this date onwards connected to the Nile, flowing from the north to the south, had also been transformed into a mythical river on which the first gods sailed. The links between the human and cosmic orders were already being established. During the Naqada II phase, an artifact as the macehead had become mysteriously charged as a symbol of power, and in the pharaonic period it was the weapon characteristically held by the victorious king. The Naqada III phase, 5,200 to 5,000 years ago, is the last phase of the Predynastic Period, The Emergence of the Egyptian State (5,200 to 4,686 years ago). It was during this period that Egypt was first unified into a large territorial state, and the political consolidation that laid the foundations for the Early Dynastic state of the 1st and 2nd Dynasties must also have occurred then. In the latter part of this phase there is evidence of kings preceding those of the 1st Dynasty, in what is now called ‘Dynasty o’. They were buried at Abydos near the royal cemetery of the 1st Dynasty. State Formation and Unification from the Naqada II phase onwards, highly differentiated burials are found in cemeteries in Upper Egypt (but not in Lower Egypt). Élite burials in these cemeteries contained large quantities of grave goods, sometimes made from exotic materials such as gold and lapis lazuli. These burials are symbolic of an increasingly hierarchical society, probably representing the earliest competition and the aggrandizement of local polities in Upper Egypt, as economic interaction and long-distance trade developed. Found two large niched mud-brick tombs and a cemetery with Early Dynastic graves and the sudden appearance of a new style of ‘royal’ burial at the end of Naqada III, together with the more impoverished (earlier) burials in the cemeteries far to the north, probably coinciding with the absorption of the Naqada polity into a larger one. In contrast, in the Umm el-Qaeab region of Abydos the graves in one area (Cemeteries U and B and the ‘royal cemetery’) evolved from fairly undifferentiated burials in early Naqada times, to an élite cemetery in late Naqada II, and finally to the burial place of the kings of Dynasty o and the 1st Dynasty. One Naqada III tomb, U-j, dating to 5,150 years ago with 150 small labels found with what appear to be the earliest known hieroglyphs and possible with traces of what could be a wooden shrine in the burial chamber and an ivory model sceptre demonstrate that this was the tomb of a ruler, possibly King Scorpion. There are rich burial suggesting that élite individuals of considerable means were being buried at Hierakonpolis, but that they were still not of the same class as the rulers at Abydos. Whereas Naqada was politically insignificant in the Early Dynastic Period, Abydos was the most important center for the cult of the dead king, and Hierakonpolis remained an important cult center associated with the god Horus, symbolic of the living king. All ceremonial objects were found in or near the area Egyptians establish camps and way stations in the northern Sinai, but the ceramic evidence also suggests that they established a highly organized network of settlements in southern Palestine where an Egyptian population was in residence. The importance of the Delta for Egyptian contact with south-west Asia is also suggested by enigmatic evidence from Buto. Lower Egyptian Predynastic culture at this site, ceramic clay ‘nails’ and a so-called Grubenkopfnagel (a tapering cone with a concave burnished end) that resemble artefacts used in the Mesopotamian Uruk culture to decorate temple façades. Possibly demonstrating contact with the Uruk culture network may have taken place via northern Syria, as the earliest Predynastic items at Buto contain sherds decorated with whitish stripes characteristic of the Syrian ware. Both imported and Egyptian-made cylinder seals, an artefact type unquestionably invented in Mesopotamia, are found in a few élite graves of the Naqada II and III phases. Beads and small artefacts in lapis lazuli, which could only have come from Afghanistan, are first found in Upper Egyptian Predynastic graves. Mesopotamian motifs also appear in Upper Egypt (and Lower Nubia), including the motif of the héros dompteur (a victorious human figure between two lions/ beasts), painted on the wall of a Tomb at Hierakonpolis, which dates to Naqada II. Other typically Mesopotamian motifs, such as the niched palace façade and high-prowed boats, are also found on Naqada II and III artefacts and also in the rock art. The styles of these motifs are more characteristic of the glyptic art of Susa in south-west Iran than of the Uruk culture, and the fact that such artefacts are not found in Lower Egypt has raised the possibility of some southern route of contact between Susa and Upper Egypt. In Lower Nubia there are numerous burials containing many Naqada craft goods were probably obtained through trade and exchange. The early Egyptian state was a centrally controlled polity ruled by a (god-) king from the Memphis region. What is truly unique about the early state in Egypt is the integration of rule over an extensive geographic region, in contrast to contemporaneous polities in Nubia, Mesopotamia, and Syria– Palestine. Although there is seeming evidence of foreign contact around 4,000 years ago, the Early Dynastic state that emerged in Egypt was unique and indigenous in character. Graves and tombs, found in this region from the 1st Dynasty onwards funerary evidence suggests that the Memphis region was the administrative center of the state and also indicates that the early Egyptian state was highly stratified in its social organization. In the south, Abydos remained the most important cult center. The kings of the 1st Dynasty were buried at Abydos, another indication of the Upper Egyptian origins of this state. From the very beginning of the Dynastic Period the institution of kingship was a strong and powerful one and would remain so throughout the major historical periods. Nowhere else in the ancient Near East at this early date was kingship so important and central to control of the early state. The nature of early Egyptian civilization was expressed primarily through monumental architecture, especially the royal tombs and funerary enclosures at Abydos, and the large tombs of high officials at North Saqqara. Formal art styles, which are characteristically Egyptian, also emerged in the Naqada III/ Dynasty o and Early Dynastic periods.
By Damien Marie AtHope
Ian Shaw. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt (Oxford Illustrated History) (p. 66). OUP Oxford. Kindle Edition.
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