Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


Kultepe? An archaeological site

with a 4,000 years old women’s rights document.

Kultepe? “archaeological site” in Turkey with the oldest women’s rights document 4,000 years old.

Kültepe is an archaeological site located in Kayseri Province in Turkey, nearest modern city to Kültepe is Kayseri, about 20 km southwest. It consists of a tell, the actual Kültepe, and a lower town where an Assyrian settlement was found. Ref

Assyria was the region in the Near East which, under the Neo-Assyrian Empire, reached from Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq) through Asia Minor (modern Turkey) and down through Egypt. The empire began modestly at the city of Ashur (known as Subartu to the Sumerians), located in Mesopotamia north-east of Babylon, where merchants who traded in Anatolia became increasingly wealthy, and that affluence allowed for the growth and prosperity of the city. According to one interpretation of passages in the biblical Book of Genesis, Ashur was founded by a man named Ashur son of Shem, son of Noah, after the Great Flood, who then went on to found the other important Assyrian cities.

Assyria did belong to the Empire of Akkad at times, as well as to the Third Dynasty of Ur. Our main sources for this period are the many thousand Assyrian letters and documents from the trade colonies in Cappadocia, foremost of which was Kanesh (modern Kultepe) (49-50).

The trade colony of Karum Kanesh (the Port of Kanesh) was among the most lucrative centres for trade in the ancient Near East and definitely the most important for the city of Ashur. Merchants from Ashur traveled to Kanesh, set up businesses, and then, after placing trusted employees (usually family members) in charge, returned to Ashur and supervised their business dealings from there. The historian Paul Kriwaczek notes:

For several generations the trading houses of Karum Kanesh flourished, and some became extremely wealthy – ancient millionaires. However not all business was kept within the family. Ashur had a sophisticated banking system and some of the capital that financed the Anatolian trade came from long-term investments made by independent speculators in return for a contractually specified proportion of the profits. There is not much about today’s commodity markets that an old Assyrian would not quickly recognize (214-215).


The wealth generated from trade in Karum Kanesh provided the people of Ashur with the stability and security necessary for the expansion of the city and so laid the foundation for the rise of the empire. Trade with Anatolia was equally important in providing the Assyrians with raw materials from which they were able to perfect the craft of iron working. The iron weapons of the Assyrian military would prove a decisive advantage in the campaigns which would conquer the entire region of the Near East. Before that could happen, however, the political landscape needed to change. The people known as the Hurrians and the Hatti held dominance in the region of Anatolia, and Ashur, to the north in Mesopotamia, remained in the shadow of these more powerful civilizations. In addition to the Hatti, there were the people known as the Amorites who were steadily settling in the area and acquiring more land and resources. The Assyrian king Shamashi Adad I (1813-1791 BCE) drove the Amorites out and secured the borders of Assyria, claiming Ashur as the capital of his kingdom. The Hatti continued to remain dominant in the region until they were invaded and assimilated by the Hittites in c. 1700. Long before that time, however, they ceased to prove as major a concern as the city to the southwest which was slowly gaining power: Babylon. The Amorites were a growing power in Babylon for at least 100 years when the Amorite king named Sin Muballit took the throne, and, in c. 1792 BCE, his son King Hammurabi ascended to rule and subjugated the lands of the Assyrians. It is around this same time that trade between Ashur and Karum Kanesh ended, as Babylon now rose to prominence in the region and took control of trade with Assyria. Ref

Fragment of a stone stele dedicated by Itur-Ashdum, Hammurabi; king Hammurapi at worship.

The cuneiform inscription states that a high official called Itur-Ashdum dedicated a statue of a lamma to the goddess Ashratum in her temple on behalf of King Hammurapi (reigned 1792-1750 BCE). The figure carved to the left of the inscription may represent Hammurapi with his right arm raised in worship. According to the text, Hammurapi would have been facing a figure of Ashratum across the inscription.  First Dynasty of Babylon, old Babylonian era, c. 1760-1750 BCE. Probably from Sippar, Mesopotamia, southern Iraq. (The British Museum, London) Ref

4,500 year-old dwelling found in Turkey

“It is the biggest building in Anatolia and Middle East ever found.”

A four and half-thousand year-old dwelling belonging to an important ruler is the latest find from an archeological dig referred to as the Kultepe mound, in a district of Kayseri, in central Turkey. “There is no such a huge building like this in Anatolia and Middle East. We are only at the certain part of the building right now. We will see an enormous structure once we discover it all. This is not a private house. It is most probably an administrative body. We believe that this is a building where Kanis King lives or governs his kingdom,” Prof. Fikri Kuloglu, Ankara University archaeologist and head of the Kultepe archaeological excavation, told an AA reporter. The archeologist says the thousands of seals found (probably from Northern Syria) tell that there was “international and systematical trade” in those times and the archaeological excavations in coming years will give further evidence of those trade activities. Kultepe, ancient mound covering the Bronze Age city of Kanesh, is in central Turkey. Kultepe was known to archaeologists during the 19th century, but it began to attract particular attention as the reputed source of so-called Cappadocian tablets in Old Assyrian cuneiform writing and language. Ref

4,000-year-old tablets found in Turkey include women’s rights

The Kültepe-Kaniş-Karum trade colony in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri continues to amaze archeologists, with an expert at the dig revealing that tablets citing women’s rights were discovered at the Bronze Age settlement. 

The Kültepe-Kaniş-Karum trade colony in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri continues to amaze archeologists, with an expert at the dig revealing that tablets citing women’s rights were discovered at the Bronze Age settlement.

Excavations at the ancient tumulus site began in 1948. So far, it has been discovered the center was where the written history of Anatolia began and the largest monumental structure of the Middle East was unearthed in 2013. A centuries-old baby rattle and a tablet about the sale of a donkey were unearthed last year. The 2015 excavation season began in Kültepe with the head of the excavation team, Prof. Fikri Kulakoğlu of Ankara University, told News Agencies on July 16 the site was remarkable not only because the priceless tablets revealed commercial information about the Assyrians, but also about the local social life of the time with all kinds of personal details about individuals. Ref

Emotional letters, complaints

“From women’s rights to the adoption of children and marriages arranged at birth, the tablets include all kinds of civilizational and social data from Anatolia 4,000 years ago. There is also an emotional letter from a woman to her husband and a letter from another woman who complains about her mother-in-law. You can’t find such things in an empire’s official archive,” he said. Still, most of the 23,500 cuneiform tablets unearthed at Kültepe were about commerce. “Kültepe is where the Anatolian enlightenment began. The people in this area were literate much earlier than other places in Anatolia, including its west,” Kulakoğlu added. Some 90 percent of the Kültepe tablets can be seen in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara. Some of them are exhibited at the site and are expected to be transferred soon to a new archaeology museum under construction in Kayseri, deemed to be the most important museum of the historic Cappadocia region. Ref

Vast site once hosted 70,000

The settlement in the tumulus is composed of segments from the early Bronze Age, the middle Bronze Age, the Iron Age and Ancient Greece and Rome. One of the most important discoveries was a tablet from 2000 B.C., which explains there were local kingdoms in Anatolia at that time and the Kaniş Kingdom was the most powerful one. Only a small area of Kültepe, which is thought to have hosted over 70,000 people four millennia ago, has been excavated so far. Officials say it might take 5,000 years to excavate the entire ancient site. Ref

For most modern readers, “women’s rights” as a concentrated program of activism and legal protections, really only begins in the mid-19th century with milestones like the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention. At best, most accounts on the topic might place its origins in the late 18th century, when women included their gender-specific grievances in documents related to the French Revolution, calling for a focused, codified for respect and state protection of their (at the time nascent and highly problematic) theoretical equality and setting the stage for later action. But new findings out of Turkey could push the origins of “women’s rights” much further back apparently, uncovered a 4,000-year-old clay tablet outlining a series of women’s rights from an ancient community on the Anatolian plateau—one known for striking but underreported finds. The find comes from the Kültepe-Kaniş-Karum trade colony, a town of (at its height) 70,000 located just outside of modern Kayseri and dating back to at least 2000 B.C. Ever since the site’s excavation began in 1948, it’s yielded amazing finds, including 23,500 clay tablets detailing (mostly) local commerce and politics, but also extraordinarily humanizing accounts of the lives of the citizens of this central Anatolian merchants hub—like letters detailing familial spats. Unfortunately those of us in the public don’t yet know what this astoundingly old tablet says. But if it lays out anything like a cohesive account of legal rights accorded to women in the town, then the find is exceptional not just as a gender issues item, but as a legal document. Hammurabi of Babylon, after all, laid down the most famous early legal code in the 18th century B.C. (which had some provisions about protections for widows and the like, but still treated women mostly as property in a male-dominated world), potentially a couple centuries after this document. And given what we know about the level of gender equality in ancient Anatolian culture based on findings at Çatalhöyük (which flourished as far back as 7000 B.C.), it seems likely that the tablet will be surprisingly progressive if (like most legal codes) it simply codifies major social norms. Any find that outlines specific women’s rights is also phenomenal as it goes against the trend in most ancient Mesopotamian societies of treating women as the property of their families (even if they were awarded basic property and divorce rights in some legal codes). Granted we know that a number of pre-historic societies, possibly including many covered by Mesopotamian laws, probably had more egalitarian social norms towards women. But these norms rarely got set down in legal codes, enforceable by agents of a government (save in the quasi-progressive ancient Egypt). Even if this new tablet’s protections for women prove to be extremely limited, if it is an enforceable code, then they could constitute a stark contrast to prevailing legal norms. We’ll have to wait a while for the full details of this discovery to become clear as the tablet, and others out of Kültepe-Kaniş-Karum, undergo study. But in the meantime there’s reason to believe that we can expect many more exciting legal and social revelations out of the ancient world given the sheer number of untranslated Mesopotamian tablets out there. By some estimates, the world’s museums and universities contain 500,000 cuneiform tablets, only 30,000 to 100,000 of which have been translated. That’s not to mention all the tablets awaiting discovery at unexcavated sites. Every year, we find something exciting in newly translated tablets. So we can only hope that people pay these tablets the attention that they deserve, and that they paint us a more complex picture of the diverse and ancient origins of modern legal and social concepts, like women’s rights, in the near future. Ref

Though great detail has not yet been provided on the exact content of the cuneiform tablets discussing women’s rights, this is an interesting topic to find in the Bronze Age site, but not the first example we have seen regarding gender equality in ancient Turkey matching the archaeology information that had already depicted that men and women in ancient Turkey lived in equality as seen at the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük. Ref

Men and women held equal status in ancient city of Catalhoyuk (around 10,000 to 5,000 years ago)

Çatalhöyük was a very large Neolithic and Chalcolithic proto-city settlement in southern Anatolia, which existed from approximately 7500 BC to 5700 BC, and flourished around 7000 BC. Çatalhöyük is located overlooking the Konya Plain, southeast of the present-day city of Konya (ancient Iconium) in Turkey, approximately 140 km (87 mi) from the twin-coned volcano of Mount Hasan. The eastern settlement forms a mound which would have risen about 20 m (66 ft) above the plain at the time of the latest Neolithic occupation. There is also a smaller settlement mound to the west and a Byzantine settlement a few hundred meters to the east. The prehistoric mound settlements were abandoned before the Bronze Age. A channel of the Çarşamba river once flowed between the two mounds, and the settlement was built on alluvial clay which may have been favourable for early agricultureRef

Çatalhöyük was a place of gender equality, where men and women held equal status.

Overlooking the Konya Plain in Turkey lies the remarkable and unique ancient city of Çatalhöyük, the largest and best-preserved Neolithic site found to date. At a time when most of the world’s people were nomadic hunter-gatherers, Çatalhöyük was a bustling town of as many as 10,000 people. According to a 2014 report in Hurriyet Daily News , archaeologists have now gained new insights into the ancient city as further excavation work has revealed that Çatalhöyük was a place of gender equality, where men and women held equal status. Çatalhöyük, which means ‘forked mound’ and refers to the site’s east and west mounds, features a unique and peculiar street-less settlement of houses clustered together in a honeycomb-like maze with most accessed by holes in the ceiling, which also served as the only source of ventilation into the house. The rooftops were effectively streets and may have formed plazas where many daily activities may have taken place. The homes had plaster interiors and each main room served for cooking and daily activities. Ref

Çatalhöyük was a street-less settlement of houses clustered together in a honeycomb-like maze.

Through analysis of wall paintings, sculptures, and burials, researchers have concluded that men and women held equal status in Çatalhöyük. “Thanks to modern scientific techniques, we have seen that women and men were eating very similar foods, lived similar lives and worked in similar works,” said Stanford University Professor Ian Hodder, who directed the excavations. “The same social stature was given to both men and women.” The level of equality also extended beyond gender and appears to have applied to the society as a whole. “People lived with the principle of equality in Çatalhöyük, especially considering the hierarchy that appeared in other settlements in the Middle East. This makes Çatalhöyük different. There was no leader, government or administrative building,” Professor Hodder said. Another interesting discovery that emerged from excavations was that burials of the deceased, which were typically in pits under the floor or beneath hearths in houses, were not organised according to family relationships. “We have also seen that people who were buried under houses were not biologically relatives or members of the same family. They lived as a family but their natural parents are not the same. Those who were born in Çatalhöyük did not live with their biological parents but with others,” said Hodder. Ref

A pit burial in Çatalhöyük 

“Çatalhöyük was composed entirely of domestic buildings, with no obvious public buildings. While some of the larger ones have rather ornate murals, the purpose of some rooms remains unclear. The population of the eastern mound has been estimated to be, at maximum, 10,000 people, but the population likely varied over the community’s history. An average population of between 5,000 and 7,000 is a reasonable estimate. The sites were set up as large numbers of buildings clustered together. Households looked to their neighbors for help, trade, and possible marriage for their children. The inhabitants lived in mudbrick houses that were crammed together in an aggregate structure. No footpaths or streets were used between the dwellings, which were clustered in a honeycomb-like maze. Most were accessed by holes in the ceiling, with doors reached by ladders and stairs. The rooftops were effectively streets. The ceiling openings also served as the only source of ventilation, allowing smoke from the houses’ open hearths and ovens to escape. Houses had plaster interiors characterized by squared-off timber ladders or steep stairs. These were usually on the south wall of the room, as were cooking hearths and ovens. The main rooms contained raised platforms that may have been used for a range of domestic activities.”  Ref

“Typical houses contained two rooms for everyday activity, such as cooking and crafting. All interior walls and platforms were plastered to a smooth finish. Ancillary rooms were used as storage, and were accessed through low openings from main rooms. All rooms were kept scrupulously clean. Archaeologists identified very little rubbish in the buildings, finding middens outside the ruins, with sewage and food waste, as well as significant amounts of wood ash. In good weather, many daily activities may also have taken place on the rooftops, which may have formed a plaza. In later periods, large communal ovens appear to have been built on these rooftops. Over time, houses were renewed by partial demolition and rebuilding on a foundation of rubble, which was how the mound was gradually built up. As many as eighteen levels of settlement have been uncovered. As a part of ritual life, the people of Çatalhöyük buried their dead within the village. Human remains have been found in pits beneath the floors and, especially, beneath hearths, the platforms within the main rooms, and under beds. Bodies were tightly flexed before burial and were often placed in baskets or wound and wrapped in reed mats. Disarticulated bones in some graves suggest that bodies may have been exposed in the open air for a time before the bones were gathered and buried. In some cases, graves were disturbed, and the individual’s head removed from the skeleton. These heads may have been used in rituals, as some were found in other areas of the community. In a woman’s grave spinning whorls were recovered and in a man’s grave, stone axes.”  Ref 

“Some skulls were plastered and painted with ochre to recreate faces, a custom more characteristic of Neolithic sites in Syria and at Neolithic Jericho than at sites closer by. Vivid murals and figurines are found throughout the settlement, on interior and exterior walls. Distinctive clay figurines of women, notably the Seated Woman of Çatalhöyük, have been found in the upper levels of the site. Although no identifiable temples have been found, the graves, murals, and figurines suggest that the people of Çatalhöyük had a religion rich in symbols. Rooms with concentrations of these items may have been shrines or public meeting areas. Predominant images include men with erect phalluses, hunting scenes, red images of the now extinct aurochs (wild cattle) and stags, and vultures swooping down on headless figures. Relief figures are carved on walls, such as of lionesses facing one another. Heads of animals, especially of cattle, were mounted on walls. A painting of the village, with the twin mountain peaks of Hasan Dağ in the background, is frequently cited as the world’s oldest map and the first landscape painting. However, some archaeologists question this interpretation. Stephanie Meece, for example, argues that it is more likely a painting of a leopard skin instead of a volcano, and a decorative geometric design instead of a map. Çatalhöyük had no apparent social classes, as no houses with distinctive features (belonging to royalty or religious hierarchy, for example) have been found so far.”  Ref

“The most recent investigations also reveal little social distinction based on gender, with men and women receiving equivalent nutrition and seeming to have equal social status, as typically found in Paleolithic cultures. Children observed domestic areas. They learned how to perform rituals and how to build or repair houses by watching the adults make statues, beads and other objects. Çatalhöyük’s spatial layout may be due to the close kin relations exhibited amongst the people. It can be seen, in the layout, that the people were “divided into two groups who lived on opposite sides of the town, separated by a gully.” Furthermore, because no nearby towns were found from which marriage partners could be drawn, “this spatial separation must have marked two intermarrying kinship groups.” This would help explain how a settlement so early on would become so large. In upper levels of the site, it becomes apparent that the people of Çatalhöyük were gaining skills in agriculture and the domestication of animals. Female figurines have been found within bins used for storage of cereals, such as wheat and barley, and the figurines are presumed to be of a deity protecting the grain. Peas were also grown, and almonds, pistachios, and fruit were harvested from trees in the surrounding hills. Sheep were domesticated and evidence suggests the beginning of cattle domestication as well. However, hunting continued to be a major source of food for the community. Pottery and obsidian tools appear to have been major industries; obsidian tools were probably both used and also traded for items such as Mediterranean sea shells and flint from Syria.”  Ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

Seated Woman of Çatalhöyük

“The Seated Woman of Çatalhöyük (also Çatal Höyük) is a baked-clay, nude female form, seated between feline-headed arm-rests. It is generally thought to depict a corpulent and fertile Mother goddess in the process of giving birth while seated on her throne, which has two hand rests in the form of feline (lioness, leopard, or panther) heads in a Mistress of Animals motif. The statuette, one of several iconographically similar ones found at the site, is associated to other corpulent prehistoric goddess figures, of which the most famous is the Venus of Willendorf. It is a neolithic sculpture shaped by an unknown artist, and was completed in approximately 6000 BCE.” ref


“Kubaba is the only queen on the Sumerian King List, which states she reigned for 100 years – roughly in the Early Dynastic III period (ca. 2500–2330 BCE) of Sumerian history. A connection between her and a goddess known from HurroHittite and later Luwian sources cannot be established on the account of spatial and temporal differences. Kubaba is one of very few women to have ever ruled in their own right in Mesopotamian history. Most versions of the king list place her alone in her own dynasty, the 3rd Dynasty of Kish, following the defeat of Sharrumiter of Mari, but other versions combine her with the 4th dynasty, that followed the primacy of the king of Akshak. Before becoming monarch, the king list says she was an alewife, brewess or brewster, terms for a woman who brewed alcohol.” ref 

“Kubaba was a Syrian goddess associated particularly closely with Alalakh and Carchemish. She was adopted into the Hurrian and Hittite pantheons as well. After the fall of the Hittite empire, she continued to be venerated by Luwians. A connection between her and the similarly named legendary Sumerian queen Kubaba of Kish, while commonly proposed, cannot be established due to spatial and temporal differences. Emmanuel Laroche proposed in 1960 that Kubaba and Cybele were one and the same. This view is supported by Mark Munn, who argues that the Phrygian name Kybele developed from Lydian adjective kuvavli, first changed into kubabli and then simplified into kuballi, and finally kubelli. However, such an adjective is a purely speculative construction.” ref


“Cybele (Phrygian: “Kubileya/Kubeleya Mother”, perhaps “Mountain Mother”) is an Anatolian mother goddess; she may have a possible forerunner in the earliest neolithic at Çatalhöyük, where statues of plump women, sometimes sitting, have been found in excavations. Phrygia‘s only known goddess, she was probably its national deity. Greek colonists in Asia Minor adopted and adapted her Phrygian cult and spread it to mainland Greece and to the more distant western Greek colonies around the 6th century BCE. In Greece, Cybele met with a mixed reception. She became partially assimilated to aspects of the Earth-goddess Gaia, of her possibly Minoan equivalent Rhea, and of the harvest–mother goddess Demeter. Some city-states, notably Athens, evoked her as a protector, but her most celebrated Greek rites and processions show her as an essentially foreign, exotic mystery-goddess who arrives in a lion-drawn chariot to the accompaniment of wild music, wine, and a disorderly, ecstatic following.” ref

“Uniquely in Greek religion, she had a eunuch mendicant priesthood. Many of her Greek cults included rites to a divine Phrygian castrate shepherd-consort Attis, who was probably a Greek invention. In Greece, Cybele became associated with mountains, town and city walls, fertile nature, and wild animals, especially lions. In Rome, Cybele became known as Magna Mater (“Great Mother”). The Roman State adopted and developed a particular form of her cult after the Sibylline oracle in 205 BCE recommended her conscription as a key religious ally in Rome’s second war against Carthage (218 to 201 BCE). Roman mythographers reinvented her as a Trojan goddess, and thus an ancestral goddess of the Roman people by way of the Trojan prince Aeneas. As Rome eventually established hegemony over the Mediterranean world, Romanized forms of Cybele’s cults spread throughout Rome’s empire. Greek and Roman writers debated and disputed the meaning and morality of her cults and priesthoods, which remain controversial subjects in modern scholarship.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

ref, ref, ref

There are other clothing resembling miniskirts that have been identified by archaeologists and historians as far back as 3,390–3,370 years ago. But this is much older. ref

Leopard claw-bone pendant from the Possible Woman Shaman/Priestess burial with the plastered and painted woman’s head in her arms that is several generations removed. She was buried under the floor of the history house (house with multiple burials beyond that of the connected family) with the twin facing leopards at Catal Huyuk. Ref

“From about 7500 B.C.E to 5700 B.C.E., early farmers grew wheat, barley, and peas, and raised sheep, goats, and cattle. At its height, some 10,000 people lived there. Among its more noteworthy features, Çatalhöyük’s inhabitants were obsessed with plaster, lining their walls with it, using it as a canvas for artwork, and even coating the skulls of their dead to recreate the lifelike countenances of their loved ones.” ref 

Anatolian Cultural Evolution

“10,000 Years Ago – “Turkey, Anatolian Cultural Evolution round this time there is no identifiable community buildings. Presumed family lineage, age- and gender-based social ranking; village management by council and/or chiefs; pottery production. Symbolisms relating to fecundity, life, and death in naturalistic human and animal forms. Local changes in pottery and lithic typologies and technologies reflect changes in subsistence modes.” Ref

“Then around 9,500 – 7,700 years ago – Catal Huyuk, Turkey, is the “first religious created city” settlement where evidence of religious civilization develop likely contains a spiritual center making it a religious temple city. Catal Huyuk which in Turkish Catal is for “fork”, Huyuk for “mound”. Inhabitant’s likely practicing worship in communal shrines, leaving behind numerous clay figurines and impressions of phallic, feminine, and hunting scenes. Catal Huyuk, a town in Southcentral Turkey with an estimated population of 5,000 -10,000 people, is the apparent center of fertility cult and goddess worship. The houses are accessed via their rooftops, were crammed tightly together, and with little evidence of specialization, hierarchy, or elite. A site of this size might be expected to produce evidence of specialization, elite, and large communal areas, rather than the evidence for a fairly even distribution of labor and resource. However, the site does reveal evidence of rich symbolic and artistic actions, including shrine areas, plastered features, bucrania, wall-paintings, figurines, and burials, focused on particular houses, and described as ‘history houses’. Along with goddess and bull cults has been a broader perception of a ‘cult of skulls’ or skull cult. The skull cult has its roots in the Levantine PPNB, with plastered skulls recovered from sites including Jericho, ‘Ain Ghazal, Kfar HaHoresh, and Tell Aswad.” Ref

“Recent excavations have extended this phenomenon into Anatolia, with plastered skulls recovered from Catal Huyuk, and one skull of an adult male, buried in the arms of an adult female at Catal Huyuk. Such plastered skulls were originally believed to venerate elder, male ancestors. However, recent analysis has revealed that many plastered skulls were of children and females which suggests that these were related to ancestors, the ‘ancestor’ category was not one limited to the elder male image. On this same site, one of the oldest known representation of a drum was discovered in a fresco with more than thirty characters, some of which playing percussions, dancing around a huge bull. Two characters hold what looks like musical instruments similar to the malunga or berimbau, a single-string percussion instrument or musical bow, originally from southern parts of Africa. Although the bow is now thought of as a weapon, a 15,000 years old cave painting in France, displays a bow being played as a musical instrument. Also of relevance in Catal Huyuk is a mural where the color of the dancers’ skin seems to say they might belong to different ethnic groups. Some are black, others white, and others half black and white. Blacks are sometimes covered with a leopard skin. Also found at Catal Huyuk are stone and bone figures shaped in the form of feminine and rooms with altars of veneration.  In fact, over 25% of the rooms have altars to a feminine deity. Many of them are linked with images of horns, the horns of the bull. It is a curious anomaly. At first sight, the mother goddess is a symbol of fertility. The horns of the bull are identified with male potency. Yet both are linked in an altar which is seemingly of primary honor to a feminine deity.” Ref

“In Building 42, there was a burial in which a woman held the head of a man. The man’s head had been plastered to create the features of his face and had been painted red; indeed, it had been plastered several times, suggesting that the plastered skull had been retained for some time before burial with the woman. This was a highly charged event, as suggested by the fact that this is the only example of a plastered skull found at the site, and indeed there is only one other example from anywhere in Turkey. The burial was in fact a foundation burial: it had not been dug through the floors of the house, but the floors of the house had been built up above the burial. So this highly charged event had a social significance, the founding of a new house. The event had both practical and religious significance. The religious significance was heightened by the placing in the grave of another remarkable object, the claw of a leopard. The detailed study of the figurines at Catal Huyuk has shown that removable heads and dowel holes in torsos to contain heads were much more prevalent than had been thought. The paintings too show headless bodies associated with vultures. The art from Gobekli Tepe also shows a headless body with an erect penis associated with birds. Overall, it is possible to argue that myths circulated in which heads were removed and carried upward by birds of prey. This process could be reenacted in the removal and replacement of heads on figurines. It seems possible that the process of removing and circulating human heads created ancestors that could communicate with the world of animal spirits (as seen in the artistic renderings of humans interacting with oversized animals at Catal Huyuk) as well as be communicated with by humans (in the caring for and replastering of skulls, and in the reenactment of head removal on figurines). Those studying the figurines have increasingly noted the fascination with body parts, buttocks, breasts, navels, and so on.” Ref

“Indeed, the more examples of art found, the more the focus on the human form. It has long been assumed that the primary focus of symbolism at early village sites in the Middle East is a nurturing ‘mother goddess’ who embodies notions of birth and rebirth. But recent finds at both Gobekli Tepe and Catal Huyuk have suggested a link to death and violence as much as to birth and rebirth. Recent finds at Catal Huyuk include a figurine that looks like a typical ‘mother goddess’ from the front, with full breasts and extended belly, but at the back she is a skeleton, with ribs, vertebrae, scapulae, and pelvic bones clearly shown. And in 2004 a grave was found in which a woman held a plastered skull of a man in her arms; she was also found with the only leopard bone ever found onsite, worn as a claw pendant. In fact, there is much imagery and symbolism of death and violence at Catal Huyuk. There are bulls’ heads fixed to walls, and other installations on and in walls, including the tusks of wild boars, vulture skulls, and the teeth of foxes and weasels. The new finds from the earlier sites of Gobekli Tepe and Nevali Cori in Southeastern Anatolia indicate that this focus on dangerous, wild animals is a central theme of the development of early villages and settled life. Death acted as a focus of transcendent religious experience during the transitions of the early Holocene in the Middle East and that it was central to the creation of social life in the first large agglomerations of people. This is because of the role of dead ancestors in the creation of ‘houses’.” Ref

“Certain houses at Catal Huyuk had many more complete skeletons than there were people who could have lived in those houses. For example, Building 1, which was inhabited for only 40 years by a family-sized group, had 62 burials beneath the floors. It was clear that people had been buried into this house from other houses. So while some houses have no burials in them, the average is 5-8, there appear to be a small number of houses that have 30-62 burials and therefore seem to have a special nature and in the upper levels, there are more representations of women in the figurine corpus. Social status early in the site seems to have focused on wild animals, associated feasts, and male prowess, whereas in the upper levels the success of the house was represented by the size of the house, by the centrality of the hearth, and by representations of women. The teeth of foxes and weasels, the tusks of wild boars, the claws of bears, and the beaks of vultures were placed in protrusions on the walls, and also found was a leopard claw and the talons of raptors in burials. So there is a focus on parts of animals that are dangerous or piercing; there is little symbolic emphasis on femurs, humeri, molar teeth, and so on. Dangerous or flesh-eating wild animals and birds are also chosen for representation. The economy at Catal Huyuk is based on domestic sheep and goats, but these hardly appear in the symbolism.” Ref

“At Catal Huyuk many figurines are found without heads, and in one case there is evidence for the intentional severing of a stone figurine head by cutting, probably using an obsidian blade. Archeologists have found numerous obsidian tools that show flattened and abraded edges from working stone surfaces. About a dozen clay figurines have dowel holes, suggesting that the process of removing and keeping heads could be played out in miniature. The ability to remove and replace certain heads might allow for multiple identities and potential narrativization, it has been argued that detachable heads at Catal Huyuk ‘were used to portray a range of emotions, attitudes, or states of being’. There are several bodies with dowel holes than heads made for attachment, which could suggest that the head is more determinative and the bodies are deemed more generic, although this may not imply a hierarchy. Among the figurines, almost all of the examples have detachable heads, are large female forms and depict breasts, and one is androgynous. At lower levels of the site, as already noted, obsidian is present in hoards or caches below the floors.” Ref

“In the upper levels these hoards cease and obsidian becomes more bound by new specialist technologies. Pottery too becomes more complex and more specialized after Level V. It gradually becomes more decorated until, by the time of Catal Huyuk West, 8,000 years ago, it is heavily decorated with complex designs. By this time of the West Mound as well, burial in houses of adults largely ends. It is presumed that burials are offsite and perhaps in cemeteries. Catal Huyuk acts as a bridge between societies in the Fertile Crescent to the east where agriculture and settled life began the earliest, and in societies in Western Anatolia, Greece, and Southeast Europe where agriculture and settled life did not begin until 9,000 years ago with economies that quickly included domestic cattle. To the east, there is more evidence of collective ritual and there are more claims for social differentiation related to ritual. Scholars agree that the major monuments of this area and period from 12,000 – 9,000 years ago, such as the temples of Gobekli Tepe, the towers of Jericho and of Tell Qaramel, the large circular buildings at Jerf el Ahmar and the Skull Building of Cayonu, indicate collective rituals. There is little clear evidence of concentrations of power that depend on or are related to the control of production of the temples. To the west of Catal Huyuk, there is less evidence for large-scale rituals, temples, or religious monuments. Indeed, early Neolithic sites to the west of Catal Huyuk are more similar to Catal Huyuk in that the symbolism is often house-based and associated with clearly egalitarian villages. These societies had a fully fledged agriculture in which domestic cattle and sheep played key roles, allowing smaller scale societies to spread over a diversity of environmental zones. It seems that the shifts made at Catal Huyuk around 10,500 years ago contributed to the ability of societies to break out of “history-making” toward more flexible and individual house-based production.” Ref

Primal Organized Religion

13,000 – 9,370 Years Ago – Gobekli Tepe, Turkey,  found the “first human-made temple” at a Southeast Anatolian site and north of the Harran plain consisting of three circular structures of ritualistically engraved monolithic standing stones making a temple complex. The tall “T” shaped stones are elaborately carved with boars, felines, bovines, scorpions, vultures, and snakes abound, twisting and crawling on the pillars’ broad sides. There is a set of arms and hands seen on the pillars that could be related to a birth, but how it is represented; it seems to allude to possibly showing the concept of a birth through three states or realms. Likewise, the other reliefs (artistic representations) on the T shaped stones may be stylized animal spirits, with the seemingly most symbolically used animal being snakes, which are 28% of the engravings and shows it is more important than other animals. The sacred status of snakes goes back to the oldest place of worship in Africa; it was a natural stone snake rock being worshiped as well as there is a common connection in many mythologies to snakes goddess, part of goddesses, or a familiar for such. That is not to say there are not many snake gods as well. Gobekli Tepe proves proof of complex societies involved in some kind of organized religion before settling into more concentrated sedentary communities. The place where Gobekli Tepe resides is also known as “belly hill” and could have also held a significance long ago, possibly a reference to pregnancy; an interesting thought as a female figure was found connected with felines that may express a connection to one of the later themes associated with an ancestor mother or goddess cult. The throne seated female figure, made probably no later than 10,000 years ago, is carved in containing depictions of felines; this could maybe a proto-Kubaba. Kubaba is a prominent goddess and in Sumerian called Kug-Bau who is the only queen on the Sumerian King list. Ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


Bear worship

Bear worship (also known as the bear cult or arctolatry) is the religious practice of the worshipping of bears found in many North Eurasian ethnic religions such as among the SamiNivkhAinuBasquesGermanic peoplesSlavs, and Finns. There are also a number of deities from Celtic Gaul and Britain associated with the bear, and the DaciansThracians, and Getians were noted to worship bears and annually celebrate the bear dance festival. The bear is featured on many totems throughout northern cultures that carve them. Bears were the most worshipped animals of Ancient Slavs. During pagan times, it was associated with the god Volos, the patron of domestic animals. Eastern Slavic folklore describes the bear as a totem personifying a male: father, husband, or a fiancé. Legends about turnskin bears appeared, it was believed that humans could be turned into bears for misbehavior.” ref

“Bears in Korean mythology, According to legend, Ungnyeo (literally “bear woman”) was a bear who turned into a woman, and gave birth to Dangun, the founder of the first Korean kingdom, Gojoseon. Bears were revered as motherly figures and as symbolic of patience. In Finnish paganism, the bear was considered a taboo animal and the word for “bear” (oksi) was a taboo word. Euphemisms such as mesikämmen “honey-hand” were used instead. Bear hunting and killing a bear was followed by a party called peijaiset with ceremony intended to show that the bear would be a “honored guest” instead of a slaughtered animal, and that its death was “accidental”, in order to not to anger the bear’s spirit. The skull of the bear was hung onto a tree, which was venerated as a totem.” ref

The bear festival is a religious festival celebrated by the indigenous Nivkh in Russia’s far east. A Nivkh shaman (ch’am) would preside over the Bear Festival, celebrated in the winter between January and February depending on the clan. Bears were captured and raised in a corral for several years by local women, treating the bear like a child. The bear is considered a sacred earthly manifestation of Nivkh ancestors and the gods in bear form. During the Festival, the bear is dressed in a specially made ceremonial costume and offered a banquet to take back to the realm of gods to show benevolence upon the clans. After the banquet, the bear is killed and eaten in an elaborate religious ceremony. The festival was arranged by relatives to honor the death of a kinsman. The bear’s spirit returns to the gods of the mountain ‘happy’ and rewards the Nivkh with bountiful forests. Generally, the Bear Festival was an inter-clan ceremony where a clan of wife-takers restored ties with a clan of wife-givers upon the broken link of the kinsman’s death. The Bear Festival was suppressed in the Soviet period; since then the festival has had a modest revival, albeit as a cultural rather than a religious ceremony.” ref

The Ainu people, who live on select islands in the Japanese archipelago, call the bear “kamuy” in their language, which translates to mean “god” similar to KamiWhile many other animals are considered to be gods in the Ainu culture, the bear is the head of the gods. For the Ainu, when the gods visit the world of man, they don fur and claws and take on the physical appearance of an animal. Usually, however, when the term “kamuy” is used, it essentially means a bear. The Ainu people willingly and thankfully ate the bear as they believed that the disguise (the flesh and fur) of any god was a gift to the home that the god chose to visit. While on Earth – the world of man – the Ainu believed that the gods appeared in the form of animals. The gods had the capability of taking human form, but they only took this form in their home, the country of the gods, which is outside the world of man. To return a god back to his country, the people would sacrifice and eat the animal sending the god’s spirit away with civility. This ritual is called Omante and usually involves a deer or adult bear.” ref

Kami (Japanese: are the deitiesdivinities, spirits, phenomena, or “holy powers”), that are venerated in the religion of Shinto. They can be elements of the landscape, forces of nature, or beings and the qualities that these beings express; they can also be the spirits of venerated dead people. Many kami are considered the ancient ancestors of entire clans (some ancestors became kami upon their death if they were able to embody the values and virtues of kami in life).” ref

“Omante occurred when the people sacrificed an adult bear, but when they caught a bear cub they performed a different ritual which is called Iomante, in the Ainu language, or Kumamatsuri in Japanese. Kumamatsuri translates to “bear festival” and Iomante means “sending off”. The event of Kumamatsuri began with the capture of a young bear cub. As if he was a child given by the gods, the cub was fed human food from a carved wooden platter and was treated better than Ainu children for they thought of him as a god. If the cub was too young and lacked the teeth to properly chew food, a nursing mother will let him suckle from her own breast. When the cub reaches 2–3 years of age, the cub is taken to the altar and then sacrificed. Usually, Kumamatsuri occurs in midwinter when the bear meat is the best from the added fat. The villagers will shoot it with both normal and ceremonial arrows, make offerings, dance, and pour wine on top of the cub corpse. The words of sending off for the bear god are then recited. This festival lasts for three days and three nights to properly return the bear god to his home.” ref

Bear Goddesses and Gods Across Ancient Cultures

Gods and goddesses of the ancient world held a connection with certain animals. This is because our ancestors’ beliefs were animistic – they believed everything on earth had consciousness. Wildlife was sacred in ancient times. The bear is one of the most powerful and most feared of the animal kingdom. Dating back thousands of years, the people of Europe left their marks on cave walls—some of these drawings were of bears. Moreover, shamans have revered the bear for its power, but also for its motherhood qualities and healing abilities. Bear medicine is strong medicine. It’s no wonder ancient gods and goddesses were connected to the bear. Learn of the bear goddesses and a bear god here.” ref


The Greek Bear Goddesses

“The typical illustration of Artemis, Greek Goddess of the Hunt, depicts her with either a hunting dog or stag. However, one of Artemis’ most sacred animals was the bear. Artemis had domain over the forest and all wildlife within it. The bear was the largest and most powerful animal, and so Artemis found it to be a special animal. Any time a bear was killed by the Greeks, Artemis would lay a plague on the people as punishment. Artemis’ cult spread over Greece. In Brauron, young girls played she-bears in honor of Artemis and as a preparation for motherhood. They wore bear masks and acted wildly in worship of her. Artemis’ name is theorized to have meant bear-sanctuary. If we break it down—art is close to ark which means bear, and temis is close to temnis which means sanctuary. We will see in the next section how another Goddess’ name reflects this etymology.” ref

“Another close association between Artemis and bears is in the tale of one of Artemis’ followers named Callisto. Callisto was a nymph (demi-god nature spirit), and as followers of Artemis, women were charged to stay chaste and pure from men. Callisto was lured into having relations with Zeus, who impregnated her. When Artemis found out, she changed Callisto into a bear. Other versions say Athena was angered when Zeus impregnated the nymph and so she turned Callisto into a bear. The constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor (known to the Greeks as Arktos—bear) are said to be the soul remnants of Callisto and her son, and were placed in the sky by Zeus himself.” ref


Celtic Bear Goddess

“We don’t know a lot about Artio, the Bear Goddess of the ancient Celtic-Gauls, but we know she was intimately connected to bears. The few pieces of evidence we have of her cult’s existence were found in Switzerland and southern Germany. A bronze statue depicting Artio feeding a giant bear surfaced in Bern, Switzerland. Scholars say Artio feeds the bear with a bowl of fruit in her lap. But could it be the other way around? It seems to me the goddess is being confronted by the bear and she is not backing down. There was once a great tale about this encounter, I am sure; however, over time the lore of Artio has been lost. The inscription on the Bern statue translates to “for the goddess Artio”. As with Artemis’ name, there is a clear link to the bear in Artio’s name. Art translates to bear in Gaulish. Could Artio, the Bear Goddess of the Gauls, be the same goddess as the Greeks’ bear goddess Artemis?” ref

Hungarian Bear Goddess

“Much of what we know of the Hungarian Bear Goddess Ildiko has been lost in time, or perhaps is just not readily accessible by my research methods. However, according to the Encyclopedia of Spirits by Judika Iles, Ildiko was a goddess of the forest and wildlife. One of her most sacred animals was the bear. Ildiko was like Artemis – she was the goddess of the hunt but also a protector of forest animals. This is because of the need for balance—she guides the hunters but also protects animals in need of preservation or honor. Ildiko is a common name in Hungary with a Germanic origin meaning “warrior”. We can see how a warrior goddess would also be keen of bears—power, wisdom, and ferocity.” ref

Finnish Bear Goddess

“Above all, Mielikki is a healing goddess of Finland. She is associated with the woods and with wildlife, just as Artemis and Ildiko, but her main attribute is her healing abilities. She heals the animals when they are sick or wounded. This corresponds directly with the medicine of the bear. Shamans know bears to be healers, and so Mielikki is like the bear in this way. Mielikki is one of the bear goddesses who had a part in the creation of the bear. The story goes that Mielikki left earth and traveled into space, past the moon, in search of the materials with which to make the perfect animal. She returned and stitched together the materials from the heavens to make the bear. The bear is Mielikki’s favorite animal, above all. The tale of Mielikki going into space to find the materials to make the bear correlates nicely with the tales of the other Bear Goddesses Artemis, Callisto, and Zeus putting Callisto into the sky to make the Ursa Major and Minor constellations. There is an asteroid and a mountain on the planet Venus named for Mielikki.” ref

Slavs and the bear worship

“Bear was one of the most worshipped animals among the ancient Slavic tribes. It was connected to the god Volos, who was the protector of animals and wilderness. In Slavic folklore, the bear is usually depicted as a male, either as a father, husband or groom.” ref

Norse or Germanic pagans Odin: The All-Father and Bear God

“Odin is a popular god among Norse and Germanic pagans and his cult has spread to nearly every part of the modern world. He is known as the All-Father, the One-Eyed, and the terrifying one. He is a wise, yet powerful god and knows how to win a battle. Because of this, warriors and magicians of ancient times sought Odin for his knowledge and ferocity. When depicted, he is usually illustrated as an old man with white hair and beard, cloaked, and carrying a staff. One of his eyes is missing, a sacrifice Odin made to tap into the wisdom of the well of Urðr. Odin is almost always flanked by two of his totem animals—ravens and wolves. However, some claim Odin may also be guarded by two great bears. I’ve yet to find solid evidence of this claim; however, this could be in part because of Odin’s association with the berserkers (shaman warriors) who often wore the pelts of bears. Either way, a god of war, wisdom, healing, and trickery such as Odin would be well received as a friend of the bear.” ref

Superstition to Religion “The Tree of Lies and its Hidden Roots”

The Evolution of Religion and Removing the Rationale of Faith

When I describe the evolution of religion, I will use the prefixes (primal, proto, and progressed) for the set of stages of development of religion. My use of primal, proto and progressed as prefixes for subclasses I have organized such as early superstitionism, early religionism and organized religionism all connected parts in the evolution of religion. The “Primal” prefix is meant to express the very basic aspects appear but not yet fully evolved or beginning assemblages are starting to come together but lack form, The “Proto” prefix is meant to express the “earliest form of” or all parts of the earliest aspects are now assembled. And, the “Progressed” prefix is meant to express the “concepts or behaviors more fully solidify” or all parts of the aspects are now further developed from previously assembled concepts or behaviors. I would first like to point out that there seems to be some scant possible hinting of the earliest pseudo-superstition before 1 million years ago and possibly back to 2 million years ago, yet likely this is not yet full superstitionism and defiantly not religion, but there are still elements there that are forming that will further religions’ future evolution. This pseudo-superstition starts with symbolic, superstition, or sacralized behaviors that may have been possibly exhibited even if only in the most limited ways at start to further standardize around 1 million years ago with primal superstition. Then the development of religion evolution increased around 600,000 years ago with proto superstition and then even to a greater extent around 300,000 years ago with progressed superstition. Religions’ evolution moves from the loose growing of superstitionism to a greater developed thought addiction that was used to manage fear and the desire to sway control over a dangerous world. This began to happen around 100,000 years ago with primal religion, next the proto religion stage is around 75,000 years ago or less, the progressed religion stage is around 50,000 years ago, and finally after around 13, 500 years ago, begins with the evolution of organized religion. The set of stages for the development of organized religion is subdivided into the following: the primal stage of organized religion is 13,000 years ago, the proto organized religion stage is around 10,000 years ago, and finally the progressed organized religion stage is around 7,000 years ago with the forming of mythology and its connected set of Dogmatic-Propaganda strains of sacralized superstitionism.

Click For More on the Evolution of Religion

Now I will begin the discussion on sexism in the Major World Religions with roughly the beginning of sexism and how it is evident in all the Major World Religions.

From the ancient past, evidence shows that sexism was near nonexistent and females were highly valued. Currently in the world with the male dominant thinking, male centric religions, and the many cultures of societies marginalizing women and promoting of sexism, which all seem to devalue, give a lesser status, or limit the value of women. Moreover, it should be understood that before there were any male god myths, there were only or mainly female goddesses and animals or aspects of nature, which were held as spirits or something like deities. Many present day thinkers may find it difficult to comprehend that women could have been valued, be equal to some extent, or even hold a position of power, especially political power in early historic or prehistoric times. However from some of the earliest writing we see that as far back as at least around 6,000 years ago women were documented as leaders and other positions of political authority that went on for thousands of years starting with Legendary Queen of Ethiopia. Likewise, according to a scientific study, there is further confirmation which shows that sexual equality is nothing new, even if it is something long forgotten. In contemporary hunter-gatherer tribes, evidence shows that men and women tend to have equal influence on important decision-making. Such findings challenge the idea that sexual equality is a recent invention, which suggests that it has been the norm for humans for most of our evolutionary history. Getting back to the timeline, by at least by 12,000 years ago, female goddesses and not male gods were created; however, the female goddesses may have been created as early as 40,000 years ago or earlier. Furthermore, I surmise around 12,000 years ago the possible beginnings of the hints of sexism and latter patriarchy began. Before 12,000 years ago, women seemed to have a special power of giving life but then things started to change, women started to lose this perceived special or magical status. However, as time went on women were starting to be seen as an object, since animals were being domesticated and humans started understand birthing. Nevertheless, do not get me wrong, this was not a dramatic shift; it was a slow process of sexism gaining power that took thousands of years to reach full fruition as we think of it today. One of the oldest written religion is of the Sumerians who’s creator being was a Female and not a Male. The Sumerian religion is around 6,000 years old but it could be much older 7,000 to 8,000 years old. In human history, when did the religious subjugation of goddess and by extension all women occur? Well, this can also be conserved to happen around 6,000 years ago also. Although, it can be hypothesized that male gods hit the scene in full force around about 5,000 years ago, when women started to lose more, and eventually all value. The introduction of Proto-Indo-Europeans marked the patriarchalization of agrarian culture. The earliest extant written sources demonstrate that these invading patriarchal peoples accommodated their divinities to those of the indigenous goddess-worshiping cultures, and they did not immediately belittle the importance of the great mother. Instead, the literature from the 5,000 years ago, recorded after the invasions, demonstrates the fusion of the goddess worshiping with the god worshiping culture. In Turkey, archaeologists found 4,000-year-old tablets that cite women’s rights. However, more progress sexism continued to develop after 4,000 years ago. Even today, women hardly have any value or even regained a fully equal status.. The devaluing, disrespecting, and degrading of women came before societies developed the more fixed class/sex structures as we think of today. Around 2,000 years ago, the manmade god concept which had taken time to develop finally started to be finalized completely as the only or the main gender of believed gods. It can be said that one of the male god concept’s goal was or seems to be for male control and domination of female sexuality and their reproductive potential. Once the male god concept is fully established and by extension men with the promotion of patriarchy, it was relatively easy to maintain and enforce through holy books and laws written by men, which established women’s lower status that deny women of education, their rights to their bodies, and exclude them from decision-making. Eventually, male dominance and its sexism were establish in nearly every known religion as well as every human society and has lasted now for a few millennia. All religions have or are prone and promote sexism, some more than others but it is a shame they all share. Although though there is much more that can be said, I will only offer a few things as evidence of sexism in each of the current major world religions:

Sexism in Judaism (Old Testament):

Exodus 21:7 God not only sanctions selling ones daughter into slavery, but he also gives out laws on how it should be done.

Leviticus 27:3-7 God places a dollar value on human life; with women worth less than men.

Deuteronomy 22:23-24 women who are raped and fail to “cry out” likely enjoyed the attack thus should be killed.

Sexism in Christianity (New Testament):

1 Corinthians 11:7 – 9 “For a man is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.

Romans 7:2 “For the woman who hath a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives.

Titus 2:4-9 “Train the young women to be submissive to their husbands.

Sexism in Islam:

Qur’an (4:11) – (Inheritance) The male shall have the equal of the portion of two females (see also verse 4:176).

Qur’an (4:24) and Qur’an (33:50) – A man is permitted to take women as sex slaves outside of marriage.

Qur’an (4:34) – Men are in charge of women and good women are the obedient, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other.

Sexism in Hinduism:

Manusmriti 5.148. In childhood a female must be subject to her father, in youth to her husband, when her lord is dead to her sons; a woman must never be independent.

Manusmrti (9:2-4) – Men must make their women dependent day and night, and keep under their own control those who are attached to sensory objects. A woman is not fit for independence.

Rig Veda (8:33:17) – The mind of woman cannot be disciplined; she has very little intelligence.

Sexism in Buddhism:

Historical Buddha said the female’s defects greed, hate, delusion, and other defilements are greater than the male’s.

Historical Buddha who refused to ordain women as nuns. He said that allowing women into the sangha would cause his teachings to survive only half as long.

A popular belief in Buddhist countries is that negative karma results in a man being reborn as a woman and in Sukhavati-vyuha Sutra (Pure Land Buddhism) women must be reborn as men before they can enter Nirvana. Theravadan Buddhists claim a woman could never become a Buddha. The Ecclesiastical

Buddhist Council of Thailand, announced publicly that any monk who supports the ordination of women will be subject to severe punishment.

Sexism in Shintoism:

The Kanamara Matsuri (“Festival of the Phallus”) is a Shinto celebration centred on a local penis-venerating shrine in Kawasaki, Japan. The legend being that a sharp-toothed demon (vagina dentata) hid inside the vagina of a young woman and castrated two young men on their wedding nights. As a result, the young woman sought help from a blacksmith, who fashioned an iron phallus to break the demon’s teeth, which led to the enshrinement of penis-venerating.

A spiritual practice specific to women involves a relationship to sight because they are always blind or visually impaired. Male sight, specifically women out of the public eye, occupies a privileged position in everything from ancient myths to the modern wedding ritual and continually exerts an oppressive influence on the lives of women, monitoring and impeding their public movements.

“Feminine Pollution” involves the idea in Shinto ritual, which has been used in the past to justify discrimination against women. Therefore, women have historically been pushed out of the public eye and out of public religious spaces because of their supposed impurity and to this day women are haunted by the belief in their inherent pollution.

Sexism in Sikhism:

The Gurus’ teaching on the role of women is stated as, “we are conceived and born from women. Woman is our life-long friend and keeps the race going. Why should we despise her, the one who gives birth to great men?” – Guru Granth Sahib Ji (the third Guru). Well, that still is saying its men that are great because of whom they are and women great only because they can produce great men still sounds like sexism to me.

Only Men as Guru only Men as the five Panj Pyare yes try to tell me of how Sikhism is completely equal to women…

Shiha Kaur a self-clamed feminist Sikh states,“ ancient cultural traditions sometimes take precedence over the principles of in Sikhism. Maharaja Ranjeet Singh, one of the most famous Sikh Kings in Moghul India often considered a model Sikh, had seven wives. Not only does polygamy go against Sikh beliefs but also half of his wives committed sati (widowed woman commits suicide by fire) when he died in 1839. In India today, school attendance of Sikh girls is lower than that of Sikh boys. The Asian Network has reported in the rise of Asian couples travelling to India to abort female fetuses and no sweets are shared among Sikh relatives to celebrate the birth of a girl, as usually happens when a boy is born.”

Sexism in Jainism:

Jainism does not teach that women can gain ultimate spiritual liberation, though a woman could strive to become a man in her next life so she could then reach enlightenment.

Jains believe, for example, that even microbes in the air and water are sacred life and any action that impacts other living things – such as driving or using electricity – can add to bad karma. Therefore, to Jains the bleeding which occurs in menstruation is thought to kill micro-organisms in the body, making the female body less nonviolent than the male body and the female body more prone to bad karma.

Digambara texts say that women’s genitals and breasts are sources of impurity and have many micro-organisms living in them. Digambara Jain theologians have written that due to bodily secretions, women suffer from itching which gives them uncontrollable sexual urges. They believe that women cannot take higher vows of ascetic renunciation, because naked women would have two deep emotions: shame of being naked and fear of sexual assault which they might face.

Sexism in Confucianism:

Confucius about women is “Shaoren and girls are difficult to handle. If you get familiar with them they cease to be humble. If you keep them away, they get resentful.” (Analects 17:25) This sure sounds insulting to women.

A well-known sexist Confucianism commandments is “Since the age of seven, men and women should not share a room or food” and “When young, a woman should obey the father, when married, the husband, when old, the son” are creations of later generation of Confucian scholars who developed a greater sexist tendency since the Tang dynasty era (618-907 C.E.).

According to the Confucian structure of society, women at every level were to occupy a position lower than men. Most Confucians accepted the subservience of women to men as natural and proper.

Sexism in Bahaism:

Highest leadership of the religion where only men Central figures: Bahá’u’lláh The Báb `Abdu’l-Bahá aso all men.

Women are excluded from serving on the religion’s highest governing body, the Universal House of Justice, which is confined to men only is sexist and does constitute evidence of the Bahá’í Faith support of superiority of men over women.

In 1997, a Canadian fantasy writer was disenrolled, primarily for his outspokenness on email forums for women’s full inclusion in Baha’i administration. Furthermore, in the Baha’i Faith there are particular cases of assignment of different roles to women and men at the level of individual life, family, and society.

Click For More on Sexism in Religion


Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


Animism: Respecting the Living World by Graham Harvey 

“How have human cultures engaged with and thought about animals, plants, rocks, clouds, and other elements in their natural surroundings? Do animals and other natural objects have a spirit or soul? What is their relationship to humans? In this new study, Graham Harvey explores current and past animistic beliefs and practices of Native Americans, Maori, Aboriginal Australians, and eco-pagans. He considers the varieties of animism found in these cultures as well as their shared desire to live respectfully within larger natural communities. Drawing on his extensive casework, Harvey also considers the linguistic, performative, ecological, and activist implications of these different animisms.” ref

My thoughts on Religion Evolution with external links for more info:

“Religion is an Evolved Product” and Yes, Religion is Like Fear Given Wings…

Atheists talk about gods and religions for the same reason doctors talk about cancer, they are looking for a cure, or a firefighter talks about fires because they burn people and they care to stop them. We atheists too often feel a need to help the victims of mental slavery, held in the bondage that is the false beliefs of gods and the conspiracy theories of reality found in religions.

“Understanding Religion Evolution: Animism, Totemism, Shamanism, Paganism & Progressed organized religion”

Understanding Religion Evolution:

“An Archaeological/Anthropological Understanding of Religion Evolution”

It seems ancient peoples had to survived amazing threats in a “dangerous universe (by superstition perceived as good and evil),” and human “immorality or imperfection of the soul” which was thought to affect the still living, leading to ancestor worship. This ancestor worship presumably led to the belief in supernatural beings, and then some of these were turned into the belief in gods. This feeble myth called gods were just a human conceived “made from nothing into something over and over, changing, again and again, taking on more as they evolve, all the while they are thought to be special,” but it is just supernatural animistic spirit-belief perceived as sacred.


Quick Evolution of Religion?

Pre-Animism (at least 300,000 years ago) pre-religion is a beginning that evolves into later Animism. So, Religion as we think of it, to me, all starts in a general way with Animism (Africa: 100,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in supernatural powers/spirits), then this is physically expressed in or with Totemism (Europe: 50,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in mythical relationship with powers/spirits through a totem item), which then enlists a full-time specific person to do this worship and believed interacting Shamanism (Siberia/Russia: 30,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in access and influence with spirits through ritual), and then there is the further employment of myths and gods added to all the above giving you Paganism (Turkey: 12,000 years ago) (often a lot more nature-based than most current top world religions, thus hinting to their close link to more ancient religious thinking it stems from). My hypothesis is expressed with an explanation of the building of a theatrical house (modern religions development). Progressed organized religion (Egypt: 5,000 years ago)  with CURRENT “World” RELIGIONS (after 4,000 years ago).

Historically, in large city-state societies (such as Egypt or Iraq) starting around 5,000 years ago culminated to make religion something kind of new, a sociocultural-governmental-religious monarchy, where all or at least many of the people of such large city-state societies seem familiar with and committed to the existence of “religion” as the integrated life identity package of control dynamics with a fixed closed magical doctrine, but this juggernaut integrated religion identity package of Dogmatic-Propaganda certainly did not exist or if developed to an extent it was highly limited in most smaller prehistoric societies as they seem to lack most of the strong control dynamics with a fixed closed magical doctrine (magical beliefs could be at times be added or removed). Many people just want to see developed religious dynamics everywhere even if it is not. Instead, all that is found is largely fragments until the domestication of religion.

Religions, as we think of them today, are a new fad, even if they go back to around 6,000 years in the timeline of human existence, this amounts to almost nothing when seen in the long slow evolution of religion at least around 70,000 years ago with one of the oldest ritual worship. Stone Snake of South Africa: “first human worship” 70,000 years ago. This message of how religion and gods among them are clearly a man-made thing that was developed slowly as it was invented and then implemented peace by peace discrediting them all. Which seems to be a simple point some are just not grasping how devastating to any claims of truth when we can see the lie clearly in the archeological sites.

I wish people fought as hard for the actual values as they fight for the group/clan names political or otherwise they think support values. Every amount spent on war is theft to children in need of food or the homeless kept from shelter.

Here are several of my blog posts on history:

I am not an academic. I am a revolutionary that teaches in public, in places like social media, and in the streets. I am not a leader by some title given but from my commanding leadership style of simply to start teaching everywhere to everyone, all manner of positive education. 

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref 

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

Low Gods “Earth” or Tutelary deity and High Gods “Sky” or Supreme deity

“An Earth goddess is a deification of the Earth. Earth goddesses are often associated with the “chthonic” deities of the underworldKi and Ninhursag are Mesopotamian earth goddesses. In Greek mythology, the Earth is personified as Gaia, corresponding to Roman Terra, Indic Prithvi/Bhūmi, etc. traced to an “Earth Mother” complementary to the “Sky Father” in Proto-Indo-European religionEgyptian mythology exceptionally has a sky goddess and an Earth god.” ref

“A mother goddess is a goddess who represents or is a personification of naturemotherhoodfertilitycreationdestruction or who embodies the bounty of the Earth. When equated with the Earth or the natural world, such goddesses are sometimes referred to as Mother Earth or as the Earth Mother. In some religious traditions or movements, Heavenly Mother (also referred to as Mother in Heaven or Sky Mother) is the wife or feminine counterpart of the Sky father or God the Father.” ref

Any masculine sky god is often also king of the gods, taking the position of patriarch within a pantheon. Such king gods are collectively categorized as “sky father” deities, with a polarity between sky and earth often being expressed by pairing a “sky father” god with an “earth mother” goddess (pairings of a sky mother with an earth father are less frequent). A main sky goddess is often the queen of the gods and may be an air/sky goddess in her own right, though she usually has other functions as well with “sky” not being her main. In antiquity, several sky goddesses in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Near East were called Queen of Heaven. Neopagans often apply it with impunity to sky goddesses from other regions who were never associated with the term historically. The sky often has important religious significance. Many religions, both polytheistic and monotheistic, have deities associated with the sky.” ref

“In comparative mythology, sky father is a term for a recurring concept in polytheistic religions of a sky god who is addressed as a “father”, often the father of a pantheon and is often either a reigning or former King of the Gods. The concept of “sky father” may also be taken to include Sun gods with similar characteristics, such as Ra. The concept is complementary to an “earth mother“. “Sky Father” is a direct translation of the Vedic Dyaus Pita, etymologically descended from the same Proto-Indo-European deity name as the Greek Zeûs Pater and Roman Jupiter and Germanic Týr, Tir or Tiwaz, all of which are reflexes of the same Proto-Indo-European deity’s name, *Dyēus Ph₂tḗr. While there are numerous parallels adduced from outside of Indo-European mythology, there are exceptions (e.g. In Egyptian mythology, Nut is the sky mother and Geb is the earth father).” ref

Tutelary deity

“A tutelary (also tutelar) is a deity or spirit who is a guardian, patron, or protector of a particular place, geographic feature, person, lineage, nation, culture, or occupation. The etymology of “tutelary” expresses the concept of safety and thus of guardianship. In late Greek and Roman religion, one type of tutelary deity, the genius, functions as the personal deity or daimon of an individual from birth to death. Another form of personal tutelary spirit is the familiar spirit of European folklore.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) iKorean shamanismjangseung and sotdae were placed at the edge of villages to frighten off demons. They were also worshiped as deities. Seonangshin is the patron deity of the village in Korean tradition and was believed to embody the SeonangdangIn Philippine animism, Diwata or Lambana are deities or spirits that inhabit sacred places like mountains and mounds and serve as guardians. Such as: Maria Makiling is the deity who guards Mt. Makiling and Maria Cacao and Maria Sinukuan. In Shinto, the spirits, or kami, which give life to human bodies come from nature and return to it after death. Ancestors are therefore themselves tutelaries to be worshiped. And similarly, Native American beliefs such as Tonás, tutelary animal spirit among the Zapotec and Totems, familial or clan spirits among the Ojibwe, can be animals.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) in Austronesian beliefs such as: Atua (gods and spirits of the Polynesian peoples such as the Māori or the Hawaiians), Hanitu (Bunun of Taiwan‘s term for spirit), Hyang (KawiSundaneseJavanese, and Balinese Supreme Being, in ancient Java and Bali mythology and this spiritual entity, can be either divine or ancestral), Kaitiaki (New Zealand Māori term used for the concept of guardianship, for the sky, the sea, and the land), Kawas (mythology) (divided into 6 groups: gods, ancestors, souls of the living, spirits of living things, spirits of lifeless objects, and ghosts), Tiki (Māori mythologyTiki is the first man created by either Tūmatauenga or Tāne and represents deified ancestors found in most Polynesian cultures). ” ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

Mesopotamian Tutelary Deities can be seen as ones related to City-States 

“Historical city-states included Sumerian cities such as Uruk and UrAncient Egyptian city-states, such as Thebes and Memphis; the Phoenician cities (such as Tyre and Sidon); the five Philistine city-states; the Berber city-states of the Garamantes; the city-states of ancient Greece (the poleis such as AthensSpartaThebes, and Corinth); the Roman Republic (which grew from a city-state into a vast empire); the Italian city-states from the Middle Ages to the early modern period, such as FlorenceSienaFerraraMilan (which as they grew in power began to dominate neighboring cities) and Genoa and Venice, which became powerful thalassocracies; the Mayan and other cultures of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica (including cities such as Chichen ItzaTikalCopán and Monte Albán); the central Asian cities along the Silk Road; the city-states of the Swahili coastRagusa; states of the medieval Russian lands such as Novgorod and Pskov; and many others.” ref

“The Uruk period (ca. 4000 to 3100 BCE; also known as Protoliterate period) of Mesopotamia, named after the Sumerian city of Uruk, this period saw the emergence of urban life in Mesopotamia and the Sumerian civilization. City-States like Uruk and others had a patron tutelary City Deity along with a Priest-King.” ref

Chinese folk religion, both past, and present, includes myriad tutelary deities. Exceptional individuals, highly cultivated sages, and prominent ancestors can be deified and honored after death. Lord Guan is the patron of military personnel and police, while Mazu is the patron of fishermen and sailors. Such as Tu Di Gong (Earth Deity) is the tutelary deity of a locality, and each individual locality has its own Earth Deity and Cheng Huang Gong (City God) is the guardian deity of an individual city, worshipped by local officials and locals since imperial times.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) in Hinduism, personal tutelary deities are known as ishta-devata, while family tutelary deities are known as Kuladevata. Gramadevata are guardian deities of villages. Devas can also be seen as tutelary. Shiva is the patron of yogis and renunciants. City goddesses include: Mumbadevi (Mumbai), Sachchika (Osian); Kuladevis include: Ambika (Porwad), and Mahalakshmi. In NorthEast India Meitei mythology and religion (Sanamahism) of Manipur, there are various types of tutelary deities, among which Lam Lais are the most predominant ones. Tibetan Buddhism has Yidam as a tutelary deity. Dakini is the patron of those who seek knowledge.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) The Greeks also thought deities guarded specific places: for instance, Athena was the patron goddess of the city of Athens. Socrates spoke of hearing the voice of his personal spirit or daimonion:

You have often heard me speak of an oracle or sign which comes to me … . This sign I have had ever since I was a child. The sign is a voice which comes to me and always forbids me to do something which I am going to do, but never commands me to do anything, and this is what stands in the way of my being a politician.” ref

“Tutelary deities who guard and preserve a place or a person are fundamental to ancient Roman religion. The tutelary deity of a man was his Genius, that of a woman her Juno. In the Imperial era, the Genius of the Emperor was a focus of Imperial cult. An emperor might also adopt a major deity as his personal patron or tutelary, as Augustus did Apollo. Precedents for claiming the personal protection of a deity were established in the Republican era, when for instance the Roman dictator Sulla advertised the goddess Victory as his tutelary by holding public games (ludi) in her honor.” ref

“Each town or city had one or more tutelary deities, whose protection was considered particularly vital in time of war and siege. Rome itself was protected by a goddess whose name was to be kept ritually secret on pain of death (for a supposed case, see Quintus Valerius Soranus). The Capitoline Triad of Juno, Jupiter, and Minerva were also tutelaries of Rome. The Italic towns had their own tutelary deities. Juno often had this function, as at the Latin town of Lanuvium and the Etruscan city of Veii, and was often housed in an especially grand temple on the arx (citadel) or other prominent or central location. The tutelary deity of Praeneste was Fortuna, whose oracle was renowned.” ref

“The Roman ritual of evocatio was premised on the belief that a town could be made vulnerable to military defeat if the power of its tutelary deity were diverted outside the city, perhaps by the offer of superior cult at Rome. The depiction of some goddesses such as the Magna Mater (Great Mother, or Cybele) as “tower-crowned” represents their capacity to preserve the city. A town in the provinces might adopt a deity from within the Roman religious sphere to serve as its guardian, or syncretize its own tutelary with such; for instance, a community within the civitas of the Remi in Gaul adopted Apollo as its tutelary, and at the capital of the Remi (present-day Rheims), the tutelary was Mars Camulus.” ref 

Household deity (a kind of or related to a Tutelary deity)

“A household deity is a deity or spirit that protects the home, looking after the entire household or certain key members. It has been a common belief in paganism as well as in folklore across many parts of the world. Household deities fit into two types; firstly, a specific deity – typically a goddess – often referred to as a hearth goddess or domestic goddess who is associated with the home and hearth, such as the ancient Greek Hestia.” ref

“The second type of household deities are those that are not one singular deity, but a type, or species of animistic deity, who usually have lesser powers than major deities. This type was common in the religions of antiquity, such as the Lares of ancient Roman religion, the Gashin of Korean shamanism, and Cofgodas of Anglo-Saxon paganism. These survived Christianisation as fairy-like creatures existing in folklore, such as the Anglo-Scottish Brownie and Slavic Domovoy.” ref

“Household deities were usually worshipped not in temples but in the home, where they would be represented by small idols (such as the teraphim of the Bible, often translated as “household gods” in Genesis 31:19 for example), amulets, paintings, or reliefs. They could also be found on domestic objects, such as cosmetic articles in the case of Tawaret. The more prosperous houses might have a small shrine to the household god(s); the lararium served this purpose in the case of the Romans. The gods would be treated as members of the family and invited to join in meals, or be given offerings of food and drink.” ref

“In many religions, both ancient and modern, a god would preside over the home. Certain species, or types, of household deities, existed. An example of this was the Roman Lares. Many European cultures retained house spirits into the modern period. Some examples of these include:

“Although the cosmic status of household deities was not as lofty as that of the Twelve Olympians or the Aesir, they were also jealous of their dignity and also had to be appeased with shrines and offerings, however humble. Because of their immediacy they had arguably more influence on the day-to-day affairs of men than the remote gods did. Vestiges of their worship persisted long after Christianity and other major religions extirpated nearly every trace of the major pagan pantheons. Elements of the practice can be seen even today, with Christian accretions, where statues to various saints (such as St. Francis) protect gardens and grottos. Even the gargoyles found on older churches, could be viewed as guardians partitioning a sacred space.” ref

“For centuries, Christianity fought a mop-up war against these lingering minor pagan deities, but they proved tenacious. For example, Martin Luther‘s Tischreden have numerous – quite serious – references to dealing with kobolds. Eventually, rationalism and the Industrial Revolution threatened to erase most of these minor deities, until the advent of romantic nationalism rehabilitated them and embellished them into objects of literary curiosity in the 19th century. Since the 20th century this literature has been mined for characters for role-playing games, video games, and other fantasy personae, not infrequently invested with invented traits and hierarchies somewhat different from their mythological and folkloric roots.” ref

“In contradistinction to both Herbert Spencer and Edward Burnett Tylor, who defended theories of animistic origins of ancestor worship, Émile Durkheim saw its origin in totemism. In reality, this distinction is somewhat academic, since totemism may be regarded as a particularized manifestation of animism, and something of a synthesis of the two positions was attempted by Sigmund Freud. In Freud’s Totem and Taboo, both totem and taboo are outward expressions or manifestations of the same psychological tendency, a concept which is complementary to, or which rather reconciles, the apparent conflict. Freud preferred to emphasize the psychoanalytic implications of the reification of metaphysical forces, but with particular emphasis on its familial nature. This emphasis underscores, rather than weakens, the ancestral component.” ref

William Edward Hearn, a noted classicist, and jurist, traced the origin of domestic deities from the earliest stages as an expression of animism, a belief system thought to have existed also in the neolithic, and the forerunner of Indo-European religion. In his analysis of the Indo-European household, in Chapter II “The House Spirit”, Section 1, he states:

The belief which guided the conduct of our forefathers was … the spirit rule of dead ancestors.” ref

“In Section 2 he proceeds to elaborate:

It is thus certain that the worship of deceased ancestors is a vera causa, and not a mere hypothesis. …

In the other European nations, the Slavs, the Teutons, and the Kelts, the House Spirit appears with no less distinctness. … [T]he existence of that worship does not admit of doubt. … The House Spirits had a multitude of other names which it is needless here to enumerate, but all of which are more or less expressive of their friendly relations with man. … In [England] … [h]e is the Brownie. … In Scotland this same Brownie is well known. He is usually described as attached to particular families, with whom he has been known to reside for centuries, threshing the corn, cleaning the house, and performing similar household tasks. His favorite gratification was milk and honey.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

ref, ref

Hinduism around 3,700 to 3,500 years old. ref

 Judaism around 3,450 or 3,250 years old. (The first writing in the bible was “Paleo-Hebrew” dated to around 3,000 years ago Khirbet Qeiyafa is the site of an ancient fortress city overlooking the Elah Valley. And many believe the religious Jewish texts were completed around 2,500) ref, ref

Judaism is around 3,450 or 3,250 years old. (“Paleo-Hebrew” 3,000 years ago and Torah 2,500 years ago)

“Judaism is an Abrahamic, its roots as an organized religion in the Middle East during the Bronze Age. Some scholars argue that modern Judaism evolved from Yahwism, the religion of ancient Israel and Judah, by the late 6th century BCE, and is thus considered to be one of the oldest monotheistic religions.” ref

“Yahwism is the name given by modern scholars to the religion of ancient Israel, essentially polytheistic, with a plethora of gods and goddesses. Heading the pantheon was Yahweh, the national god of the Israelite kingdoms of Israel and Judah, with his consort, the goddess Asherah; below them were second-tier gods and goddesses such as Baal, Shamash, Yarikh, Mot, and Astarte, all of whom had their own priests and prophets and numbered royalty among their devotees, and a third and fourth tier of minor divine beings, including the mal’ak, the messengers of the higher gods, who in later times became the angels of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Yahweh, however, was not the ‘original’ god of Israel “Isra-El”; it is El, the head of the Canaanite pantheon, whose name forms the basis of the name “Israel”, and none of the Old Testament patriarchs, the tribes of Israel, the Judges, or the earliest monarchs, have a Yahwistic theophoric name (i.e., one incorporating the name of Yahweh).” ref

“El is a Northwest Semitic word meaning “god” or “deity“, or referring (as a proper name) to any one of multiple major ancient Near Eastern deities. A rarer form, ‘ila, represents the predicate form in Old Akkadian and in Amorite. The word is derived from the Proto-Semitic *ʔil-, meaning “god”. Specific deities known as ‘El or ‘Il include the supreme god of the ancient Canaanite religion and the supreme god of East Semitic speakers in Mesopotamia’s Early Dynastic Period. ʼĒl is listed at the head of many pantheons. In some Canaanite and Ugaritic sources, ʼĒl played a role as father of the gods, of creation, or both. For example, in the Ugaritic texts, ʾil mlk is understood to mean “ʼĒl the King” but ʾil hd as “the god Hadad“. The Semitic root ʾlh (Arabic ʾilāh, Aramaic ʾAlāh, ʾElāh, Hebrew ʾelōah) may be ʾl with a parasitic h, and ʾl may be an abbreviated form of ʾlh. In Ugaritic the plural form meaning “gods” is ʾilhm, equivalent to Hebrew ʾelōhîm “powers”. In the Hebrew texts this word is interpreted as being semantically singular for “god” by biblical commentators. However the documentary hypothesis for the Old Testament (corresponds to the Jewish Torah) developed originally in the 1870s, identifies these that different authors – the Jahwist, Elohist, Deuteronomist, and the Priestly source – were responsible for editing stories from a polytheistic religion into those of a monotheistic religion. Inconsistencies that arise between monotheism and polytheism in the texts are reflective of this hypothesis.” ref


Jainism around 2,599 – 2,527 years old. ref

Confucianism around 2,600 – 2,551 years old. ref

Buddhism around 2,563/2,480 – 2,483/2,400 years old. ref

Christianity around 2,o00 years old. ref

Shinto around 1,305 years old. ref

Islam around 1407–1385 years old. ref

Sikhism around 548–478 years old. ref

Bahá’í around 200–125 years old. ref

Knowledge to Ponder: 


  • Possibly, around 30,000 years ago (in simpler form) to 6,000 years ago, Stars/Astrology are connected to Ancestors, Spirit Animals, and Deities.
  • The star also seems to be a possible proto-star for Star of Ishtar, Star of Inanna, or Star of Venus.
  • Around 7,000 to 6,000 years ago, Star Constellations/Astrology have connections to the “Kurgan phenomenon” of below-ground “mound” stone/wood burial structures and “Dolmen phenomenon” of above-ground stone burial structures.
  • Around 6,500–5,800 years ago, The Northern Levant migrations into Jordon and Israel in the Southern Levant brought new cultural and religious transfer from Turkey and Iran.
  • “The Ghassulian Star,” a mysterious 6,000-year-old mural from Jordan may have connections to the European paganstic kurgan/dolmens phenomenon.

“Astrology is a range of divinatory practices, recognized as pseudoscientific since the 18th century, that claim to discern information about human affairs and terrestrial events by studying the apparent positions of celestial objects. Different cultures have employed forms of astrology since at least the 2nd millennium BCE, these practices having originated in calendrical systems used to predict seasonal shifts and to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communications. Most, if not all, cultures have attached importance to what they observed in the sky, and some—such as the HindusChinese, and the Maya—developed elaborate systems for predicting terrestrial events from celestial observations. Western astrology, one of the oldest astrological systems still in use, can trace its roots to 19th–17th century BCE Mesopotamia, from where it spread to Ancient GreeceRome, the Islamicate world and eventually Central and Western Europe. Contemporary Western astrology is often associated with systems of horoscopes that purport to explain aspects of a person’s personality and predict significant events in their lives based on the positions of celestial objects; the majority of professional astrologers rely on such systems.” ref 

Around 5,500 years ago, Science evolves, The first evidence of science was 5,500 years ago and was demonstrated by a body of empirical, theoretical, and practical knowledge about the natural world. ref

Around 5,000 years ago, Origin of Logics is a Naturalistic Observation (principles of valid reasoning, inference, & demonstration) ref

Around 4,150 to 4,000 years ago: The earliest surviving versions of the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, which was originally titled “He who Saw the Deep” (Sha naqba īmuru) or “Surpassing All Other Kings” (Shūtur eli sharrī) were written. ref


  • 3,700 years ago or so, the oldest of the Hindu Vedas (scriptures), the Rig Veda was composed.
  • 3,500 years ago or so, the Vedic Age began in India after the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilization.


  • around 3,000 years ago, the first writing in the bible was “Paleo-Hebrew”
  • around 2,500 years ago, many believe the religious Jewish texts were completed

Myths: The bible inspired religion is not just one religion or one myth but a grouping of several religions and myths

  • Around 3,450 or 3,250 years ago, according to legend, is the traditionally accepted period in which the Israelite lawgiver, Moses, provided the Ten Commandments.
  • Around 2,500 to 2,400 years ago, a collection of ancient religious writings by the Israelites based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible, Tanakh, or Old Testament is the first part of Christianity’s bible.
  • Around 2,400 years ago, the most accepted hypothesis is that the canon was formed in stages, first the Pentateuch (Torah).
  • Around 2,140 to 2,116 years ago, the Prophets was written during the Hasmonean dynasty, and finally the remaining books.
  • Christians traditionally divide the Old Testament into four sections:
  • The first five books or Pentateuch (Torah).
  • The proposed history books telling the history of the Israelites from their conquest of Canaan to their defeat and exile in Babylon.
  • The poetic and proposed “Wisdom books” dealing, in various forms, with questions of good and evil in the world.
  • The books of the biblical prophets, warning of the consequences of turning away from God:
  • Henotheism:
  • Exodus 20:23 “You shall not make other gods besides Me (not saying there are no other gods just not to worship them); gods of silver or gods of gold, you shall not make for yourselves.”
  • Polytheism:
  • Judges 10:6 “Then the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, served the Baals and the Ashtaroth, the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the sons of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines; thus they forsook the LORD and did not serve Him.”
  • 1 Corinthians 8:5 “For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords.”
  • Monotheism:
  • Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.

Around 2,570 to 2,270 Years Ago, there is a confirmation of atheistic doubting as well as atheistic thinking, mainly by Greek philosophers. However, doubting gods is likely as old as the invention of gods and should destroy the thinking that belief in god(s) is the “default belief”. The Greek word is apistos (a “not” and pistos “faithful,”), thus not faithful or faithless because one is unpersuaded and unconvinced by a god(s) claim. Short Definition: unbelieving, unbeliever, or unbelief.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

Expressions of Atheistic Thinking:

  • Around 2,600 years ago, Ajita Kesakambali, ancient Indian philosopher, who is the first known proponent of Indian materialism. ref
  • Around 2,535 to 2,475 years ago, Heraclitus, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher, a native of the Greek city Ephesus, Ionia, on the coast of Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor or modern Turkey. ref
  • Around 2,500 to 2,400 years ago, according to The Story of Civilization book series certain African pygmy tribes have no identifiable gods, spirits, or religious beliefs or rituals, and even what burials accrue are without ceremony. ref
  • Around 2,490 to 2,430 years ago, Empedocles, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher and a citizen of Agrigentum, a Greek city in Sicily. ref
  • Around 2,460 to 2,370 years ago, Democritus, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher considered to be the “father of modern science” possibly had some disbelief amounting to atheism. ref
  • Around 2,399 years ago or so, Socrates, a famous Greek philosopher was tried for sinfulness by teaching doubt of state gods. ref
  • Around 2,341 to 2,270 years ago, Epicurus, a Greek philosopher known for composing atheistic critics and famously stated, “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him god?” ref

This last expression by Epicurus, seems to be an expression of Axiological Atheism. To understand and utilize value or actually possess “Value Conscious/Consciousness” to both give a strong moral “axiological” argument (the problem of evil) as well as use it to fortify humanism and positive ethical persuasion of human helping and care responsibilities. Because value-blindness gives rise to sociopathic/psychopathic evil.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

While hallucinogens are associated with shamanism, it is alcohol that is associated with paganism.

The Atheist-Humanist-Leftist Revolutionaries Shows in the prehistory series:

Show one: Prehistory: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” the division of labor, power, rights, and recourses.

Show two: Pre-animism 300,000 years old and animism 100,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show tree: Totemism 50,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show four: Shamanism 30,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show five: Paganism 12,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show six: Emergence of hierarchy, sexism, slavery, and the new male god dominance: Paganism 7,000-5,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Capitalism) (World War 0) Elite and their slaves!

Show seven: Paganism 5,000 years old: progressed organized religion and the state: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Kings and the Rise of the State)

Show eight: Paganism 4,000 years old: Moralistic gods after the rise of Statism and often support Statism/Kings: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (First Moralistic gods, then the Origin time of Monotheism)

Prehistory: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” the division of labor, power, rights, and recourses: VIDEO

Pre-animism 300,000 years old and animism 100,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Totemism 50,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Shamanism 30,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Paganism 12,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Pre-Capitalism): VIDEO

Paganism 7,000-5,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Capitalism) (World War 0) Elite and their slaves: VIEDO

Paganism 5,000 years old: progressed organized religion and the state: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Kings and the Rise of the State): VIEDO

Paganism 4,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (First Moralistic gods, then the Origin time of Monotheism): VIEDO

I do not hate simply because I challenge and expose myths or lies any more than others being thought of as loving simply because of the protection and hiding from challenge their favored myths or lies.

The truth is best championed in the sunlight of challenge.

An archaeologist once said to me “Damien religion and culture are very different”

My response, So are you saying that was always that way, such as would you say Native Americans’ cultures are separate from their religions? And do you think it always was the way you believe?

I had said that religion was a cultural product. That is still how I see it and there are other archaeologists that think close to me as well. Gods too are the myths of cultures that did not understand science or the world around them, seeing magic/supernatural everywhere.

I personally think there is a goddess and not enough evidence to support a male god at Çatalhöyük but if there was both a male and female god and goddess then I know the kind of gods they were like Proto-Indo-European mythology.

This series idea was addressed in, Anarchist Teaching as Free Public Education or Free Education in the Public: VIDEO

Our 12 video series: Organized Oppression: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of power (9,000-4,000 years ago), is adapted from: The Complete and Concise History of the Sumerians and Early Bronze Age Mesopotamia (7000-2000 BC): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szFjxmY7jQA by “History with Cy

Show #1: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Samarra, Halaf, Ubaid)

Show #2: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Eridu: First City of Power)

Show #3: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Uruk and the First Cities)

Show #4: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (First Kings)

Show #5: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Early Dynastic Period)

Show #6: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (King Lugalzagesi and the First Empire)

Show #7: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Sargon and Akkadian Rule)

Show #8: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Naram-Sin, Post-Akkadian Rule, and the Gutians)

Show #9: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Gudea of Lagash and Utu-hegal)

Show #10: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Third Dynasty of Ur / Neo-Sumerian Empire)

Show #11: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Amorites, Elamites, and the End of an Era)

Show #12: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Aftermath and Legacy of Sumer)

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

The “Atheist-Humanist-Leftist Revolutionaries”

Cory Johnston ☭ Ⓐ Atheist Leftist @Skepticallefty & I (Damien Marie AtHope) @AthopeMarie (my YouTube & related blog) are working jointly in atheist, antitheist, antireligionist, antifascist, anarchist, socialist, and humanist endeavors in our videos together, generally, every other Saturday.

Why Does Power Bring Responsibility?

Think, how often is it the powerless that start wars, oppress others, or commit genocide? So, I guess the question is to us all, to ask, how can power not carry responsibility in a humanity concept? I know I see the deep ethical responsibility that if there is power their must be a humanistic responsibility of ethical and empathic stewardship of that power. Will I be brave enough to be kind? Will I possess enough courage to be compassionate? Will my valor reach its height of empathy? I as everyone, earns our justified respect by our actions, that are good, ethical, just, protecting, and kind. Do I have enough self-respect to put my love for humanity’s flushing, over being brought down by some of its bad actors? May we all be the ones doing good actions in the world, to help human flourishing.

I create the world I want to live in, striving for flourishing. Which is not a place but a positive potential involvement and promotion; a life of humanist goal precision. To master oneself, also means mastering positive prosocial behaviors needed for human flourishing. I may have lost a god myth as an atheist, but I am happy to tell you, my friend, it is exactly because of that, leaving the mental terrorizer, god belief, that I truly regained my connected ethical as well as kind humanity.

Cory and I will talk about prehistory and theism, addressing the relevance to atheism, anarchism, and socialism.

At the same time as the rise of the male god, 7,000 years ago, there was also the very time there was the rise of violence, war, and clans to kingdoms, then empires, then states. It is all connected back to 7,000 years ago, and it moved across the world.

Cory Johnston: https://damienmarieathope.com/2021/04/cory-johnston-mind-of-a-skeptical-leftist/?v=32aec8db952d  

The Mind of a Skeptical Leftist (YouTube)

Cory Johnston: Mind of a Skeptical Leftist @Skepticallefty

The Mind of a Skeptical Leftist By Cory Johnston: “Promoting critical thinking, social justice, and left-wing politics by covering current events and talking to a variety of people. Cory Johnston has been thoughtfully talking to people and attempting to promote critical thinking, social justice, and left-wing politics.” http://anchor.fm/skepticalleft

Cory needs our support. We rise by helping each other.

Cory Johnston ☭ Ⓐ @Skepticallefty Evidence-based atheist leftist (he/him) Producer, host, and co-host of 4 podcasts @skeptarchy @skpoliticspod and @AthopeMarie

Damien Marie AtHope (“At Hope”) Axiological Atheist, Anti-theist, Anti-religionist, Secular Humanist. Rationalist, Writer, Artist, Poet, Philosopher, Advocate, Activist, Psychology, and Armchair Archaeology/Anthropology/Historian.

Damien is interested in: Freedom, Liberty, Justice, Equality, Ethics, Humanism, Science, Atheism, Antiteism, Antireligionism, Ignosticism, Left-Libertarianism, Anarchism, Socialism, Mutualism, Axiology, Metaphysics, LGBTQI, Philosophy, Advocacy, Activism, Mental Health, Psychology, Archaeology, Social Work, Sexual Rights, Marriage Rights, Woman’s Rights, Gender Rights, Child Rights, Secular Rights, Race Equality, Ageism/Disability Equality, Etc. And a far-leftist, “Anarcho-Humanist.”

I am not a good fit in the atheist movement that is mostly pro-capitalist, I am anti-capitalist. Mostly pro-skeptic, I am a rationalist not valuing skepticism. Mostly pro-agnostic, I am anti-agnostic. Mostly limited to anti-Abrahamic religions, I am an anti-religionist. 

To me, the “male god” seems to have either emerged or become prominent around 7,000 years ago, whereas the now favored monotheism “male god” is more like 4,000 years ago or so. To me, the “female goddess” seems to have either emerged or become prominent around 11,000-10,000 years ago or so, losing the majority of its once prominence around 2,000 years ago due largely to the now favored monotheism “male god” that grow in prominence after 4,000 years ago or so. 

My Thought on the Evolution of Gods?

Animal protector deities from old totems/spirit animal beliefs come first to me, 13,000/12,000 years ago, then women as deities 11,000/10,000 years ago, then male gods around 7,000/8,000 years ago. Moralistic gods around 5,000/4,000 years ago, and monotheistic gods around 4,000/3,000 years ago. 

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

Damien Marie AtHope (Said as “At” “Hope”)/(Autodidact Polymath but not good at math):

Axiological Atheist, Anti-theist, Anti-religionist, Secular Humanist, Rationalist, Writer, Artist, Jeweler, Poet, “autodidact” Philosopher, schooled in Psychology, and “autodidact” Armchair Archaeology/Anthropology/Pre-Historian (Knowledgeable in the range of: 1 million to 5,000/4,000 years ago). I am an anarchist socialist politically. Reasons for or Types of Atheism

My Website, My Blog, & Short-writing or QuotesMy YouTube, Twitter: @AthopeMarie, and My Email: damien.marie.athope@gmail.com

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This