I surmise these figurines are archetypal female ancestor figures first expressing both fertility and the gatherer cult evolving around mainly women in hunting-gathering culture. As the Neolithic revolution comes along the main hunting-gathering culture rituals are adapted and replaced. However, the changes are not random because farming is in some sense just an extension of the gathering culture rather than the hunting culture. Therefore, one can see the reason it more predominantly utilizes both fertility and the gatherer cult and I think changes the archetypal female figures from the likely ancestor predecessors to new goddesses as the needs had changed. Some figures are clearly women, some are somewhat indeterminate presumed women, a few could be asexual but are presumed female and a few could be homosexual male/transwomen thus in that way a female as well.
“The Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave in the Ardèche department of southeastern France is a cave that contains some of the best-preserved figurative cave paintings in the world, as well as other evidence of Upper Paleolithic life. It is located near the commune of Vallon-Pont-d’Arc on a limestone cliff above the former bed of the river Ardèche, in the Gorges de l’Ardèche. The dates have been a matter of dispute but a study published in 2012 supports placing the art in the Aurignacian period, approximately 32,000–30,000 years ago. A study published in 2016 using additional 88 radiocarbon dates showed two periods of habitation, one from 37,000 to 33,500 years ago and the second from 31,000 to 28,000 years ago, with most of the black drawings dating to the earlier period.” ref
“Hundreds of animal paintings have been cataloged, depicting at least 13 different species, including some rarely or never found in other ice age paintings. Rather than depicting only the familiar herbivores that predominate in Paleolithic cave art, i.e. horses, aurochs, mammoths, etc., the walls of the Chauvet Cave feature many predatory animals, e.g., cave lions, leopards, bears, and cave hyenas. There are also paintings of rhinoceroses. Typical of most cave art, there are no paintings of complete human figures, although there is one partial “Venus” figure composed of what appears to be a vulva attached to an incomplete pair of legs. Above the Venus, and in contact with it, is a bison head, which has led some to describe the composite drawing as a Minotaur. There are a few panels of red ochre hand prints and hand stencils made by blowing pigment over hands pressed against the cave surface. Abstract markings—lines and dots—are found throughout the cave. There are also two unidentifiable images that have a vaguely butterfly or avian shape to them. This combination of subjects has led some students of prehistoric art and cultures to believe that there was a ritual, shamanic, or magical aspect to these paintings.” ref
“One drawing, later overlaid with a sketch of a deer, is reminiscent of a volcano spewing lava, similar to the regional volcanoes that were active at the time. If confirmed, this would represent the earliest known drawing of a volcanic eruption. The artists who produced these paintings used techniques rarely found in other cave art. Many of the paintings appear to have been made only after the walls were scraped clear of debris and concretions, leaving a smoother and noticeably lighter area upon which the artists worked. Similarly, a three-dimensional quality and the suggestion of movement are achieved by incising or etching around the outlines of certain figures. The art is also exceptional for its time for including “scenes”, e.g., animals interacting with each other; a pair of woolly rhinoceroses, for example, are seen butting horns in an apparent contest for territory or mating rights.” ref
Aurignacian burials (around 37,000-30,000 years ago) belong to the early phase of this period in Europe. Examples have been excavated at Cave of Cavillon, Liguria – a burial wearing a cap of netted whelk shells with a border of deer’s teeth, red ochre around the face, and a bone awl at the side. ref
Aurignacian in the Zagros region dates back to about 35,500 years ago at Yafteh Cave, Lorestan, Iran. ref
Here are three figures. Seemingly the first holds an antler, the next a bull horn, and the last a possible ram horn but all are a type of horn and as horns later are a ritualistic and potentially shamanistic reference to the heavens the moon, and stars, which is the place of ancestors this could express not just a fertility right but a connection to ancestors and the sky above as well as a link with totemistic animals.
“Numerous peoples throughout the world have at one point in time honored bulls as sacred. In Sumerian mythology, Marduk is the “bull of Utu“. In Hinduism, Shiva‘s steed is Nandi, the Bull. The sacred bull survives in the constellation Taurus. The bull, whether lunar as in Mesopotamia or solar as in India, is the subject of various other cultural and religious incarnations. Aurochs are depicted in many Paleolithic European cave paintings such as those found at Lascaux and Livernon in France. Their life force may have been thought to have magical qualities, for early carvings of the aurochs have also been found. The impressive and dangerous aurochs survived into the Iron Age in Anatolia and the Near East and were worshipped throughout that area as sacred animals; the earliest survivals of a bull worship are at neolithic Çatalhöyük.” ref
“The bull was seen in the constellation Taurus by the Chalcolithic and had marked the New Year at springtide by the Bronze Age, for 4000–1700 BCE. The Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh depicts the killing by Gilgamesh and Enkidu of the Bull of Heaven as an act of defiance of the gods. From the earliest times, the bull was lunar in Mesopotamia (its horns representing the crescent moon). In Egypt, the bull was worshiped as Apis, the embodiment of Ptah and later of Osiris. A long series of ritually perfect bulls were identified by the god’s priests, housed in the temple for their lifetime, then embalmed and encased in a giant sarcophagus.” ref
Grotta di Fumane figure Picture: Link
“This peace is from an extremely important site for understanding the significant biological and cultural change in human evolution which occurred around 40,000 years ago. Grotta di Fumane is one of the major prehistoric archaeological sites in Europe with an exceptional document of the lifestyles of both Neanderthal man and early Modern humans. Moreover, this site is essential for studying the lifestyle, economy, technology, and spirituality/religion of the ancient humans that frequented the Valpolicella area from over 50,000 years to the important understanding of the mechanisms that led, to the affirmation of Modern Human behaviors throughout Europe beginning around 40,000 years ago.” ref
“This if from a stratigraphic section made up of a heap of clastic stones which formed at the cave entrance near the left-hand wall. After cleaning the veil of calcite that completely covered its face, this fragment shows the silhouette of an anthropomorphic (possibly a woman) seen from the front. The axis of the body is painted along the length of a small ridge. The 18 cm high figure has two horns on its head (or a mask?). Under the neck, the arms are spread out and the right hand holds an object hanging downwards (a ritual object?). At the level of the navel, there are two small lateral non-symmetrical reliefs. In its lower part, the body is enlarged in correspondence with the stomach, to which are attached the bowed legs. The painting is incomplete: the image is interrupted along the length of the right side of the body. The age of 35,000-34,000 – 32,000 BP attributed on the basis of radiometric dating of the Aurignacian use of the cave gives an indication of the age of the rock fragments which fell into the zone of passage. It does not seem possible that the paintings could be older as nothing similar has been found in the underlying levels in spite of a considerable accumulation of cryoclastic fragments.” ref
“In spite of the modest amount of discoveries, Aurignacian figurative art evinces considerable variability. The sculptures from the Swabian Jura, the Stratzing figurine, the incisions in the Dordogne shelters, the paintings at the entrance to the Fumane cave, and those of the Chauvet cave all suggest as many centers, situated in far-flung regions and different environments. These works span several thousand years. Each of them is expressed in its own way. This observation in no way contradicts the attribution of all these sites to the Aurignacian, which is seen as a great taxonomic entity characterized by a common technological base: the production lines for blade tools and blades designed for use in hafts, the making of points and spear heads from hard animal matter. These common technological traditions united groups adapted to different environments who over several millennia developed ways of life, economic systems and, very probably, different social organizations and cultures.” ref
Venus of Laussel Picture: Link
” The Venus of Laussel is a Venus figurine, 18.11 inches high limestone bas-relief of a nude female figure, painted with red ochre. It was carved into a large block of fallen limestone in a rock shelter (Abri de Laussel) in the commune of Marquay, in the Dordogne department of southwestern France. The carving is associated with the Gravettian Upper Paleolithic culture (approximately 25 000 years old). The figure holds a bison horn, or possibly a cornucopia, in one hand, which has 13 notches. According to some researchers, this may symbolize the number of moons or the number of menstrual cycles in one year. She has her hand on her abdomen (or womb), with large breasts and vulva. There is a “Y” on her thigh and her faceless head is turned toward the horn.” ref
Other less known Laussel Figure Picture: Link
“Great Shelter of Laussel, Graveltlen (around 25 000 years old). Travalilee in the round – bump, this representation femmme is seen from the front, the trails of the face are not detailed. The thorax is erect with two voluminous seems resting on the abdomen and hips. The pelvic girdle is very wide, just like the thighs. The public triangle is small. This representation is that of a woman with more children than her, a recurring theme of the female representations of Gravetnen. The arm is in extension and throws an object in the shape of an arc, WHICH had to think of the horn held by the most famous Venus de Laussel. However. It is impossible to determine the nature of this object whose contours have been deeply hollowed out.” ref
Goddesses / Archetype ancestor shapes relating to the three realms and moon phases: Waxing, Full, and Waning Moon: As well as relating to Heaven, Earth, and Underworld. The figure with the arms up likely represents both bull horns and the worship and parse/dancing for the heavens. It seemingly relates to different functions with different meanings but I think are all part of a widespread gatherer cult/farming paganism cult magic by shamanistic paganism.
In the picture above is a reference to the larger theme in connection with what I see as the farming paganistic Goddess cult concepts and as stated before relating to the three realms: heaven (I assumed goddess figure arms up from the Badarian culture with the earliest direct evidence of agriculture in Upper Egypt during the Predynastic Era), earth (I assumed pre-goddess archetype ancestor figure in hunter-gather shamanism Magdalenian with links to both Iberomaurusians and connections to the First Paganists or arms around the body or little to no arms), and the last the underworld (I assumed goddess figure arms down: a Badarian culture female mortuary figurine).
Venus of Courbet figure is one of many similar abstract sitting position women figurines and the oldest listed above to me is a pre-goddess expression of the mother goddesses that are more fully developed in response to the new social demands seen in the neolithic expressions of culture or full moon representation and moon references stretch back to Venus of Courbet found at one of the three sites of Courbet, Bruniquel and Montastruc, which are all very close to each other, and are often treated as a single site. The Roc du Courbet is one of a series of Upper Palaeolithic rock shelters near the village of Bruniquel, in France‘s Tarn region. It is believed that the majority of the remains recovered were derived from de Lastic’s black layer or ‘couche noire’, which is thought to date to Magdalenian V or VI.
However, the provenance of remains within this layer is not clear. Furthermore, both human and animal remains were found within not only a black layer (‘limon noir’), but also a red layer (‘limon rouge’) and a breccia deposit. The piece was excavated from Courbet Cave, Montastruc, Tarn-et-Garonne, Midi-Pyrénées, France with a sitting posture figure outlined om it dated to around 13 000 years ago, locally the Late Magdalenian period of the Upper Palaeolithic, towards the end of the last Ice Age. The headless figure is shown from the side, bending to the right, with the large rounded buttocks and thigh carefully drawn. The thin torso features a small sharp triangle that may indicate the breasts, or perhaps arms held out and on the legs.
Similar to The Venus figures of Neuchâtel – Monruz as well as The Venus figures of Petersfels (Engen). One of the last and smallest Venus Figurines to be carved during the era of Paleolithic art, the Venus of Monruz (also known as the “Venus of Neuchatel” or the “Venus of Neuchatel–Monruz“) is a pendant made of black jet, in the shape of a stylized female body in a sitting posture with an engorged buttocks and no arms. It was discovered in Switzerland. It is among the world’s oldest items of jewellery art, and exemplifies prehistoric sculpture created during the final phase of Magdalenian art, which ended 12,000-10,000 years ago. The Monruz venus bears a strong resemblance to the Venus of Engen (“Frauenidol von Engen”), one of a dozen jet pendants excavated from the shelter of Petersfels (Baden-Wurtemberg), in Germany, except that the Engen figurine is dated to 15,000 years ago. Another jet figurine is the Venus of Pekarna, which dates to 14,500 years ago. The Magdalenian was the richest period of prehistoric art, notably in the craft of cave painting, although it also witnessed exceptional sculptures like the Venus of Eliseevichi. ref, ref
I dont totally agree with these articles but it s very informative:
Function of Predynastic Female Figurines from the Badarian to the Late Naqada II Periods (Honours Thesis, Monash University, 2013)
Supernatural Pregnancies Common Features and New Ideas concerning Upper Paleolithic Feminine Imagery Duncan Caldwell
A Study Of Anthropomorphic Figurines In The Neolithic
“In the Neolithic, figurines largely appear at a time when human cultures were going through significant and critical changes, so significant and critical that the period has often been referred to as the “Neolithic revolution.” These figurines do not appear in every Neolithic society but seem to be common to a great many. Nor do they appear continuously through time in each culture where they are found. Agriculture and sedentism begin to replace the lifeways of the hunter-gatherer nomads, and some of the earliest clear examples of public architecture and ceremonial gatherings begin to show up in the material records of such places as Nevalı Çori, Göbekli Tepe and Çatalhöyük. Prior to the invention of writing, symbols and signs appear in the archaeological record in the form of pictographs, petroglyphs, murals, pottery designs, and figurines. These artifacts are among the precious few sources of information about cultures long dead before the advent of writing.” ref
“The Neolithic periods of Southwest Asia and Southeastern Europe total at least 403 anthropomorphic figurines, around 11,000 to 4,300 years ago, 148 (36.7%) were from sites in Southwest Asia and 255 (63.3%) were from sites in Southeastern Europe mostly of terracotta and stone, a disproportionate number of figurines are representative of the female sex compared to male as well as that asexual-figurines are also equally disproportionate. Although most Neolithic societies may have differences among the many commonalities that these cultures shared are small portable figurines of terracotta and, sometimes, stone. Anthropomorphic figurines are recovered in a variety of archaeological contexts, many of which can be clearly defined as domestic, burial, and ritual. In Bulgaria and Moldavia, for instance, figurines are frequently found in association with Neolithic cemeteries. Neolithic figurines filled a variety of roles which included rituals for curing, protection, initiation, and marriage, as well as to support oral narratives.” ref
“Anthropomorphic figurines are also very striking examples of Neolithic artifacts that have the potential to act as external symbolic storage. The quality of individual identity within Chalcolithic Bulgarian settlements by analyzing figurines within burials. Offers five methods of decoration: incising, piercing, painting, piercing and painting, and non-decoration, and sexual identities in the figurines excavated: female (69%), male (less than 1%) and asexual (31%) thus probably multi-sexual and multi-gendered culture. Most male figurines dominated the cemeteries and female figurines prevailed in the domestic spaces, a significant presence of asexual figurines were found throughout the Neolithic and Chalcolithic.” ref
“Many figurines express obesity and while obesity is definitely represented in the archaeological records of Neolithic cultures, the discontinuity between the obesity in figurines found at Çatalhöyük and the body types excavated. To date, no clear evidence has been discovered that would indicate a body was that of an obese or robust person. The mortuary data retrieved thus far from Çatalhöyük are far from conclusive and at least one case of a burial “special treatment” could exist of a person that was obese. ” ref
“The Neolithic in Southeastern Europe begins by many accounts (e.g., Talalay at ca. 8,500 years ago). In southern Greece and the Aegean, a large corpus of anthropomorphic figurines emerge in many places beginning around this time in the regions of Thessaly and Central Greece, Macedonia, and Crete. The region of Greece that has, to date, produced the most Neolithic figurines. The Sesklo culture in Thessaly at Dimini Sesklo and Achilleion. Notably, Sesklo figurines share many attributes with those of the Near East, such as seated posture, conical shaped heads, and coffee-bean or cowrie-shaped eyes.” ref
“North of Greece, the Karanovo culture begins in the Eastern Balkan region at about 7,800 years ago and figurines produced are marked by “focus[ed] attention on faces and hips, buttocks and the pubis”. In the Central Balkans, the Vinča Complex begins around 7,265 and the figurines from this culture are very striking with distinctive triangular, mask-like faces, detailed incisions, and symmetrical perforations. Several other regions in Southeastern Europe also provide a rich body of distinct anthropomorphic figurine styles. The Tisza culture in Hungary emerged during the Late Neolithic (around 6,970-6,380 years ago), the Cucuteni culture in modern Romania and Moldavia flourished from around. 6,800-5,500 years ago.” ref
“And closer to the Adriatic but still on the Balkan Peninsula, the Butmir culture is dated to around 7,300-6,200 years ago also in the Middle and Late Neolithic periods. Also considered to be within Southeastern Europe are the island sites of Malta and Sardinia. Malta was first settled by Neolithic farmers around 7,000 years ago and through the Final Neolithic, the island produced a rich body of figurines modeled in clay or carved from stone and bone. Malone notes that current evidence supports the idea that Sardinia was occupied continuously from the Mesolithic to the Early Neolithic which began on the island around 7,230 years ago. The figurines of Sardinia are more likely to be carved of stone than modeled in clay and many are found carved from tuff, marble, alabaster, gypsum, and steatite.” ref
“It is also possible that the idea that figurines are not simply media that communicate messages or store information but also to express or be utilized as representations that have meanings that can change over time and vary from observer to observer. The mental representation of the figurine becomes the ideas and concepts held by the observer, likely influenced the figurine’s context as it was used in domestic, ritual, and ceremonial settings. Posture for most figurines is a central attribute though often one that includes a combination of limb positions. So while standing and seated are two very general descriptions of posture, the positions of limbs could define the figurine as seated with a left leg crossed over the right, legs folded underneath the figure, or even kneeling. Figurines, of course, do not have an agency that is independent of humans.” ref
“Southeastern Europe contributed a more diverse and dispersed set of sites to the corpus, with a majority of 73 (18.1%) originating from sites in Romania. Other significant contributors were sites in the regions of Bulgaria (34 figurines at 8.4%), Central Greece (23 figurines at 5.7%), Sardinia (23 figurines at 5.7%), Serbia (22 figurines at 5.6%), Malta (21 figurines at 5.2%), and the Peloponnese of Greece (19 figurines at 4.7%). Other contributing sites were in the regions of Kosovo (10 figurines at 2.5%), Hungary (9 figurines at 2.2%), Bosnia(9 figurines at 2.2%), and then Crete, Macedonia, and Moldavia (each with 3 figurines at 0.7%). A single contributing Neolithic figurine was from Italy which was 0.3% of the corpus.” ref
“A male figurine from Nevalı Çori dating to between 10,500 and 9,900 years ago that appears to be wearing a belt or sash around the hips that may have a leopard design. This stylistic motif is similar to that of the somewhat younger design associated with an anthropomorphic figure in a mural at Çatalhöyük also of a male(s) (which could represent a hunting cult). If their creators fashioned figurines to represent bodies they knew best, then many or most of the creators may have been female since figurines that are clearly male represent a small percentage of the corpus but what would it mean in relation to the very high percentage of asexual figurines in the Neolithic, (could mean trans/intersex people or that they were for use by several male and female individuals, or diverse gendered duties, maybe a little of both?).” ref
The often largely forgotten Gender Fluidity in the Goddesses and Gods
“Many cultures have gods, demi-gods, and heroes with both male and female attributes. In Hindu mythology, Shiva is seduced by Vishnu’s female avatar, Mohini, giving birth to the god Shasta (Ayyappa). Shiva himself is often represented as Ardhanarishvara, an androgynous composite of Shiva and Parvati with a body that is male on the right-hand side and female on the left. Arjuna, the great warrior of the Mahabharata epic, spent a year as a woman, during which he took the name of Brihannala and taught song and dance to the princess Uttara.” ref
“The Mesopotamian Ishtar, the beautiful goddess of fertility, love, war, and sex, is sometimes represented with a beard to emphasize her more bellicose side. She could change a man into a woman, and the assinnu, kurgarru, and kuku’u who performed her cult had both male and female features. After the hero Gilgamesh rejected her offer of marriage, Ishtar unleashed the Bull of Heaven, ultimately leading to the death of Enkidu, whom Gilgamesh loved more than anyone: “Hear me, great ones of Uruk/ I weep for Enkidu, my friend/ Bitterly mourning like a woman mourning.” ref
“Hapi, the Egyptian god of the annual flooding of the Nile, brought such fertility as to be regarded by some as the father of the gods: he is generally depicted as intersex, with pendulous breasts and a ceremonial false beard.
To seduce the nymph Callisto, Zeus, the king of the Greek gods, took the form of the goddess Artemis.” ref
Ten Intersex Goddesses and Gods
“Many cultures have had religions and beliefs that feature human-like gods and goddesses, most of them being specifically male or female. However, for some, creation and fertility was not always a female feature, and many concepts of nature and the universe could only be explained from a dipole perspective. Sometimes, being intersex was a result of magical or mysterious events. 1. Hermaphroditus (Greek), 2. Agdistis (Phrygian, Greek, Roman), 3.“Hapi (Egyptian), 4. Ardhanarishvara (Hindu), 5. Lan Caihe (China), 6. Ymir (Norse), 7. Ometeotl (Aztec), 8. Jehovah (Hermetic Kabbalah), 9. Phanes (Greek), and Ahsonnutli (Navaho).” ref
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Neolithic Figurines: SOME GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS
“Statuettes of human beings and animals, mostly small and made of clay, are among the most fascinating yet insufficiently researched elements of the Neolithic world of symbols and imagery. Although at first glance they seem quite diverse, the greater part of clay statuettes nonetheless follow an image scheme which was already developed during the 9th millennium BC (11,000-10,000 years ago). Compared with the representational scheme in depictive Palaeolithic works, for example, such as the “Venus” of Willendorf, what we see in the Neolithic image schemeis clearly an innovation. Figures of the Palaeolithic period with their bent legs can-not stand; their heads were bowed/lowered. Neolithic figures, in contrast, are free-standing and their view is directed upwards, as can be observed in the statuette from Mureybet. Aside from free-standing figures there are also seated figures in Neolithic statuary, like-wise with the head tilted back and the face directed upwards. Emerging here, in contrast to Palaeolithic statuettes, is something new in form, which presumably should also express something new in the way of thinking as well as execution. Neolithic clay figurines hold a genealogical position between the statuettes of hunters of the Palaeolithic and the art of the early civilizations in Egypt and Mesopotamia. They constitute a complex of figural art, which, however – despite its stylistic diversity – is distinguished by a limited and repetitive repertory of representational types, which again varies within the“Neolithic pictorial formula”. This realization is important, for there long seemed to be a considerable time gap between Palaeolithic and Early Neolithic art.” ref
“The Neolithic invention of depiction was very successful. Corresponding statuettes were produced for over five thousand years, until at the end of the 5th millennium BC (7,200-6,000 years ago) the production of anthropomorphic art was completely abandoned in many regions or was replaced regionally by new conceptions. Clay figurines were created in the crescent of Neolithic cultures in the Near East, Anatolia, and Southeastern Europe. Yet,their emergence was not ubiquitous. No clay statuettes were produced in the distribution areas of pottery with cardial and impresso decoration, especially in Northern Africa, Spain,and Southern France. The invention of the figural pictorial scheme during the Early Neolithic (Pre-Pottery Neolithic A) constitutes the foundation for the entire further history of Neolithic clay figures. Within a geographic sphere, extending from the Tigris to the Middle Danube Rivers, this pictorial scheme varied within a narrow range. The position of the arms was variable, so that different types of images can be discerned. General and basic characteristics of figural art to underscore here are axial symmetrical structure, frontality, and stylisation. Axial symmetry dwindled only in seated figures with legs folded to the side,especially in Anatolia and Greece. However, attempts to lessen axial symmetry did not catch on in the Balkan Peninsula.” ref
“The restriction of Neolithic figurines to only a few representational types implies that they were not just secondary decorative works or children’s toys. They were far more an expression of the self-perception and the self-reassurance of these early farming communities. Anew economic basis of subsistence was not the sole great change effected by the “Neolithic revolution”; associated with it was also a basic transformation in thinking and a change in the system of social symbols. Along with the omnipresent symbol of the bull in many settlements, especially in Çatalhöyük, most of the clay statuettes of females as representative of the Neolithic revolution in symbols. Furthermore, it can be assumed, that during the long time span of producing statuettes, especially across such a vast area, social practices with which the statuettes were interwoven were differentiated and, as a result, the statues were represented differently. On the other hand, the fact should be stressed that over such a long period of time, conventions in representations – viewed supra-regionally – were quite similar. Only in the 5th millennium BCE or some time between 7,000 to 6,000 years ago did this similarity dissolve.” ref
“Excavations in Çatalhöyük brought forth a great number of figurines, which have almost become synonymous for figural statuary of the Neolithic period as a whole. In past decades numerous excavations in Turkey have broadened this picture fundamentally. Above all are excavations in the Lake District, in Western and Northwestern Anatolia, where a multitude of new, hitherto unknown representational forms of Neolithic statuettes have come to light. Anatolia is indeed a bridge between Mesopotamia and Southeastern Europe, but it is not a transit area. It embraced far more a number of centers, in which creativity in statuette production could develop and react to tendencies in style with new innovative statuette forms. Nonetheless, it should be mentioned that, despite the great number of excavations undertaken, many stretches of land have been scarcely researched, and also that certain episodes in the Neolithic period still await study. The most important finds of figurines that are crucial for understanding the history of art of the Occident have become known through excavations in recent decades in Çayönü, Nevalı Çori, Göbekli Tepe and many other places in Southeastern Turkey. Unlike Göbekli Tepe, in Nevalı Çori and Çayönü numerous small figurines of males and females were found which were made of air-dried or slightly fired grey-brown clay. Some 665 mostly fragmented statuettes were counted in Nevalı Çori; in Çayönü 400 pieces were counted. Figures of males do accrue, although female figurines predominate. Their pose follows the Neolithic scheme entirely; that is to say, the upper body leans backwards slightly. This is especially distinct in the small statuettes in Çayönü and one figure from Cafer Höyük.” ref
“The restriction of Neolithic figurines to only a few representational types implies that they were not just secondary decorative works or children’s toys. They were far more an expression of the self-perception and the self-reassurance of these early farming communities. Anew economic basis of subsistence was not the sole great change effected by the “Neolithic revolution”; transformation from hunter-gatherer societies to rural farming societies was a more complex process, associated with it was also a basic transformation in thinking and a change in the system of social symbols.” ref
“The dissemination of an agricultural way of life towards the West followed, as of around 9,000-8,000 years ago, in a new model of village organisation. No special cult houses that replaced large communal buildings for cultic purposes are attested in Neolithic villages of the following times. Quite the opposite: the structures are all of almost the same size and shape. And in the emerging bundle of different innovative techniques, through which the farming economy and way of life spread abroad, were also anthropomorphic figurines. Clay figures still appear in settlements of the Pottery Neolithic period, but their form is clearly more elaborate. Further, there is a greater variety in the types of Halaf art, as noticeable in the finds from Domuztepe.” ref
“This variety in types is displayed in several small collections of figurines, for example, in the settlement of Girikihaciyan. In Tülintepe, east of Elazığ, two settlement phases could be distinguished: one phase of the early and one phase of the Late Chalcolithic period. The figurines found there, thought to be females because of their breasts, have marked elongated heads. The face is shown with protruding eyes, eyebrows, and a nose in relief. The same can be noted in the head of a statuette found in TilHuzur-Yayvantepe. Even in details, statuettes from the sphere of the Halaf culture display the same configuration.” ref
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“Göbekli Tepe, engraving of a female person from layer II.” ref
Mother goddess figure dating to around 10,000 years old figurines from Israel, and Neolithic stylized figurines and Agricultural Civilization and Religion. This Neolithic site is the most important and largest in Israel. The Venus is made of clay and is assembled of various parts. ref
The Yarmukian culture was a Neolithic culture of the ancient Levant. It was the first culture in prehistoric Israel and one of the oldest in the Levant to make use of pottery. The Yarmukian derives its name from the Yarmouk River which flows near its type site at Sha’ar HaGolan, a kibbutz at the foot of the Golan Heights. Yarmukian culture, a Pottery Neolithic culture that inhabited parts of Israel and Jordan. The site, dated to ca. 8,400–8000 years ago, is located in the central Jordan Valley, on the northern bank of the Yarmouk River. Its size is around 20 hectares, making it one of the largest settlements in the world at that time. Although other Yarmukian sites have been identified since, Sha’ar HaGolan is the largest, probably indicating its role as the Yarmukian center. ref
Exotic objects discovered during the excavations include seashells from the Mediterranean, polished stone vessels made of alabaster (or marble), and blades made from obsidian from Turkey. The presence of obsidian points to trade connections extending over 435 miles away. At the site of ‘Ain Ghazal, located along the banks of the Zarqa River near Amman, Jordan, the early Pottery Neolithic period is dated from 8,400 to 7,000 years ago. ref
Among the outstanding art objects from Sha’ar HaGolan are figurines in human form made of fired clay or carved on pebbles. The overwhelming majority are female images, interpreted as representing a goddess. The clay figurines are extravagant in their detail, giving them a surrealistic appearance, while the pebble figurines are minimalist and abstract in form. ref
Besides the site at Sha’ar HaGolan, 20 other Yarmukian sites have been identified in Israel, Jordan and Lebanon. These include:
- Tel Megiddo (Israel)
- Tel Kabri (Israel)
- Ain Ghazal (Jordan)
- Munhata (Israel)
- Tel Qashish (Tell el-Qassis) (Israel)
- Hamadia (Israel)
- Ain Rahub (Jordan)
- Abu Tawwab (Jordan)
- Byblos (Lebanon) ref
Although the Yarmukian culture occupied limited regions of northern Israel and northern Jordan, Yarmukian pottery has been found elsewhere in the region, including the Habashan Street excavations in Tel-Aviv and as far north as Byblos, Lebanon. ref
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Proposed by one author as a possible sitting man figure but could just as well be sitting woman similar to the other many women found in this posture.
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I suspect that as hole number 1 is seemingly aesthetic not directly functional and that is directly under the area that would represent an anus below an erect phallus as well as being in a common position for female sitting figures. I surmise this male/transwoman is thus fertility cult connected and likely expresses a homosexual/transgender characteristic placing it in the sitting “Venus Phenomena” as its female counterparts. – Damien Marie AtHope
“The unclear find circumstances and the unusual material raise the question of the figurine´s provenance. The sinter layer is a characteristic for finds from Göbekli Tepe (and clearly indicates that the figurine was originally buried with the right side down), but could have formed of course also at another site with similar natural conditions. There is however an older find that could represent a fragment of the same figurine type. This fragment, of unknown gender comprising head and shoulder of a small figurine made from brownish limestone, was also discovered on the surface of the tell. There are two more examples of larger seated sculptures from Göbekli Tepe. A first depiction of a seated person sen above in the picture this picture, though badly preserved, was found on the surface of the tell, too. Here, the hands are brought together under the belly the lower part of the sculpture is missing.” ref
“A snake could be depicted crawling up the back and head of the sculpture, but this remains uncertain, too. Another example was found deep in the northwestern depression of the tell. The find context is still under evaluation, much speaks for a PPN B date so far. The preservation of this sculpture is also rather bad, the lower part is missing again. Both examples show some clear differences compared to the male (transwoman) figurine: the arms are folded in front of the body, there is no animal on the shoulder, and the persons seem to sit on the ground, not on some object. Summing up, it seems nevertheless reasonably sure that the new figurine is from Göbekli Tepe – and represents a type, or variant, not known so far.” ref
“29 similarly seated limestone figurines are known from Mezraa-Teleilat´s phase IIIB, i.e. the Late PPN B / early Pottery Neolithic transition. One more find can be added to this group, a more recently published stone figurine from Çatalhöyük. Although the overall form is very similar, the (presumed female) figurines from Mezraa-Teleilat and Çatalhöyük are much more abstracted, or outright women as the former are sitting on armchair-like seats, wear robe-like clothes and in some cases belts, and examples with animals on the shoulders seem to be missing. As the latest finds from Göbekli Tepe date to the middle PPN B, the figurine must be older than the finds from Mezraa Teleilat and Çatalhöyük. Whether the naturalistic sculpture(s) from Göbekli Tepe can be regarded as the prototypes for this group and thus also a similar meaning could be proposed.” ref
Bear-Goddess & Three Bulls
Hybrid imagery and symbolism at Çatal Höyük to which I surmise could express the mother-bear goddess (ie. roaring that could represent thunderstorms like lions or bulls in association with goddesses). The three bulls to me could represent the three stages of the moon. Mother goddess at the site of Catal Hoyuk in Turkey dating to around 9,400-8,000 years ago.
Although the art of Çatal Höyük may indicate an association between men, hunting and wild animals, and between women and plants and agriculture, current evidence indicates neither a patriarchy nor a matriarchy, but possibly a society in which gender did not rigidly determine one’s role in life. ref, ref
I surmise that there is an expression in goddess representation that relates to the three realms sky goddess with the upturned arms relating to the waxing crescent, the fat sitting goddess is a representation to the full moon and the arms turned down are a representation of the waning crescent. And it this way both up and down arms represent metaphorical bullhorns and why goddesses are associated with bulls or as bulls. Especially, with paganism.
Could it be that the emergence of this new goddess cult of the sitting mother goddess in the Levant, somehow related to the new problems these Neolithic women faced as there was a decrease in mean age at death for Neolithic females which may be the result in higher levels or maternal risk associated with child-birth. It is intriguing to consider the shifts in perceptions and behaviors surrounding women’ health, pregnancy, and childbirth, and kin relations that might extend from such changes. Studies point to increasing fertility and higher birth rates among some newly sedentary groups. ref
Goddess and the Bull and what of the smaller ﬁgurines from Neolithic contexts in the southern Levant?
Neolithic Levantine ﬁgurines are typically deposited in domestic ﬁll, rather than pits, caches, or other distinctive features. Some are made of stone, but most are made of clay. Breakage patterns suggest that some of the ﬁgurines may have been intentionally broken. The stone examples indicate perhaps diﬀerent meanings attached to different kinds of rituals being performed as in a more personal domestic cult (involving an association with mother goddess) and an additional clan ancestor cult many seem male in expression some with erect or presented phallus and the many associations in art like that at Çatalhöyük it wich groups of men are believed to be performing ritual hunting scenes that may involve group taunting of the horned animals (involving an association with horned animals such as the bull-horns being both a part of the early phallus phenomena as well as a representation of the moons emerging crescent or dissipating crescent associated with arms of the goddess). In terms of sex/gender identiﬁcation, there are ﬁgurines that encode no recognizable clues about sex or gender. And there are also examples of ﬁgurines with dual-sex connotations. While the majority exhibit a female form, there are also examples of male ﬁgurines. ref, ref
Headless (like others are the intentionally broken in a ritual? Possibly connected to skull cult behaviors?) sitting decorated mother goddess from Neolithic site of Catal Hoyuk in Turkey (9,400-6,000 years ago). ref
Hacilar 9,000 years ago Anatolia South Western Turkey
Called a Mother Goddess and made of clay. It has been noted that the continuation at Hacilar of the goddess figurine tradition advanced westward from Çatal höyük. This figure also is a variance on the sitting goddess position. ref
Numerous nude female figures, made of clay, are quite remarkable, and possibly represent some divinity. Ceramics from Hacilar show similarities with those of the Halaf culture from about the same period. There are also similarities in their figurines. At level II (7,300 years ago), the village was fortified and had a small temple.
The settlement of level I, dating after 7,000 years ago, differs significantly from the previous layers, so it is believed that there were newcomers who settled here. The site is now heavily fortified. The pottery is of high quality and is generally painted in red on a cream background. ref
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Possibly around 9,000 years ago from Catal Hoyuk, Turkey This claimed sitting man figure with a proposed bushy beard, could just be a woman’s face similar to the other obese women found there.
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Catal Huyuk “first religious designed city” around 9,500 to 7,700 years ago (Turkey)
Seated Mother Goddesses when depicted as fat, to me, generally should be thought originally depict the meaning FULL MOON or the lesser association with the sun that mainly limited until Neolithic agriculture the such as seen in the based on the 7 position of the Sun in the sky throughout a solar day like Sun’s “dawn” sun emerging in the morning, (also starting as creator once mother turned to father just as in the connections to the moon’s waxing crescent), then “civil twilight” high noon(full moon), daylight hours or “dusk” starting to get dark or metaphorically die (moon’s waning crescent).
Therefore, the goddess cults associated with the moon in full are also part of the stages of the sun like a full sun: ie. pregnant/pseudo-pregnant or fertile/life producing maybe a birthing throne also a reference to fertility, thus a Mother Goddess. I could even be that she is in the process of giving birth while seated on her throne, which has two hand rests in the form of feline (leopard or panther) heads. The statuette, one of several iconographically similar ones found at the site, is associated with other corpulent prehistoric goddess figures that are sitting or standing that are fat, of which the most famous is the Venus of Willendorf. When it was found, in a grain-bin; she may have intended to protect the harvest and grain, its head and hand rest of the right side were missing and current head and the hand rest are modern replacements. This is but one of the presumed goddess figures found at Çatal Höyük, north of the Taurus Mountains in a fertile agricultural region of South-Anatolia/Turkey. Many statues found here, which seem to suggest a representation of a generalized Great goddess cult, who headed the pantheon of an essentially equalitarian culture if we are taking our clues from this site of Catal Huyuk “first religious designed city” around 9,500 to 7,700 years ago (Turkey). ref, ref, ref
This picture was added to show where the idea for the Throned/Seated Mother Goddess of Çatal Höyük likely comes from as its head was missing.
“Neolithic figurine mother goddess and/or wise grandmother ancestor-spirit figure (seemingly this represented a real person possibly as the representations of fat rolls seem to be to anatomically correct to be a guess) or a little of both most likely and has been proposed as serving a ritual purpose. The figure is 6.7 inches tall, weighs 2.2 lbs, and was made of marmoreal stone. Along with the fact that unlike some others found in garbage pits this figurine was found beneath a platform along with a piece of obsidian which suggests that it may have been placed there as part of some ritual. Çatal Höyük is recognized as one of the best archaeological sites in the world for understanding prehistoric humanity. It is the largest and best-preserved Neolithic site found to date. While most of the world was populated by nomadic hunter-gatherers, Çatal Höyük was a large “honeycomb city” settlement with as many as 10,000 people described as a massive labyrinth of mud-brick houses which has 18 successive layers of building. “These figurines symbolize old women that have high status in the society instead of goddesses,” excavation supervisor Professor Ian Hodder of Stanford University said about the figurines that have distinctive bellies, breasts, and hips.” 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 Hurro–Hittite 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
Throned/Seated Mother Goddess of Çatal Höyük
Bulls and Lions represent the roaring in the Sky Produced by Thunderstorms.
The around 8,000 to 7,500 years old Seated Woman of Çatalhöyük (also Çatal Höyük) is a baked-clay, nude female form, seated between feline-headed arm-rests possible lionesses, reportedly found n a grain bin similarly to a 7,200-year-old pottery and food offering “model” in what appears to be a grain silo, the current oldest example of a ritual propitiating the gods to preserve the crops or harvest, surmise archaeologists. Found at the Tel Tsaf site turned out to have silos for intensive food storage, thus the unique vessel purportedly attesting to evidence of sacred paganistic food storage rituals Israeli. ref, ref
The silos at Tel Tsaf reached a storage capacity estimated at 15–30 tons of grain, a clear indication of the accumulation of surpluses on a scale unprecedented in the ancient Near East. Also found at Tel Tsaf was a 7,000-year-old copper awl unearthed at the site of Tel Tsaf, Israel, suggesting that cast metal technology was introduced to the region centuries earlier than previously thought. Tel Tsaf is dated to around 7,200–6,700 years ago, the Wadi Rabah culture phase is dated to around 7,500 to 6,500 years ago and pre-dating the Ghassulian culture phase dated to around 6,400 to 5,500 years ago centered in Jordan. ref, ref, ref, ref
Copper metallurgy was likely developed in northern fertile crescent and there are isolated copper axes and adzes are known from Catalhoyuk in Anatolia Mesopotamia by around 9,500 years ago and the earliest known copper is found in Syria at sites such as Tell Halaf, about 8,500 years ago. The Halaf culture ranges around 8,100 to 7,100 years ago. The period is a continuous development out of the earlier Pottery Neolithic and is located primarily in south-eastern Turkey, Syria, and northern Iraq, although the Halaf-influenced material is found throughout Greater Mesopotamia. ref, ref
At also spelled Ain al-Fijah or Ein el-Jarba there seems like “food-offering ritual jars” is an Early copper age settlement ascribed to the Wadi Rabah culture, dating to the 6th millennium BC, located ca. 20 km south-east of Haifa, Israel in the Jezreel Valley. A Hole-mouth Jar from Ain al-Jerba site, decorated with reliefs of two sides of a dancing human figures, with deer masks. ref
This Çatal Höyük seated female figure is a woman, however, I think we need to grasp the ancient mindset that is not the same as traditional notions of gender as we think of them today. We have to open this conception as they likely did back ten allowing for intrinsic variabilities such as a woman could shapeshift or the like into a male or a male turn female or they could simultaneously be a montage of both as well as could become animals or even forces of nature once only seen as spirits. Thus, it is us who understand such things when we assess the gender concepts in ancient goddesses and gods a gender fluidity or belief espouse in various ways to we are only starting to re-acquire not like god gender is not always easily defined and one can hold competing gender natures and as a concept of fluid rather than fixed state of being possible including notions of gender as there is also a large number of sexless figurines. I don’t believe in the goddess believers notions of universal Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory, I don’t claim matriarchy never happened it just was no universal not the norm as it seems there was more a general egalitarianism then patriarchy. According to Heide Göttner-Abendroth, a reluctance to accept the existence of matriarchies might be based on a specific culturally biased notion of how to define matriarchy: because in a patriarchy men rule over women, a matriarchy has frequently been conceptualized as women ruling over men, while she believed that matriarchies are egalitarian. ref, ref
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Hacilar is an early human settlement in southwestern Turkey. Ceramics from Hacilar show similarities with those of the Halaf culture from about the same period. There are also similarities in their figurines. ref
The origins of Europe’s first farmers: The role of Hacılar and Western Anatolia. Discoveries in Western Anatolia have shed new light on the origins of Europe’s first farmers. Early Neolithic communities in Greece and the Balkans shared a common ancestry in Western Anatolia at the site of Hacilar from Turkey and this link provides a more complex and accurate picture of the spread of farming to Southeast Europe. There could be three chrono-geographical horizons (two definites, one tentative), each characterized by a different Neolithic ‘package’. Repeated migrations from the Central Anatolian plateau, and further on from the Levant, probably spread farming to Europe in the second half of the after 9,000 years ago. ref
This seared figure dated to Greek (Neolithic) 8,000-6,000 years ago which I surmise could represent a male/transwoman is thus fertility cult connected and likely expresses a homosexual/transgender characteristic placing it in the sitting “Venus Phenomena” as its female counterparts. With the seeming open rectum, if it was allowed to sit naturally as created would look even more suggestive like the similar one from Göbekli Tepe 9,600-8,000 years ago in southeastern Turkey I surmise could likely expresses a homosexual/transgender characteristic and both seem to have young cats crawling on their backs like the female sitting figure has on her front 8,000-7,500 years ago from Hacilar in southwestern Turkey.
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The figurines we found, were often of seeming young women beautifully dressed some in short tops and mini skirts and wore bracelets around their arms. The Vinca culture dating between 7,400 to 6,700 years ago in the 300-acre site at what is now Plocnik knew about trade, handicrafts, art, and metallurgy. The findings suggest an advanced division of labor and organization and the dead were buried in a tidy necropolis. ref
The Cucuteni-Trypillian civilization: anthropomorphic sitting women art
“Here below is a chart from the Encyclopaedia of the Trypillian Civilization demonstrates how major types of figurines were developing by periods:” ref
“The total number of figurines discovered all over the area of the culture distribution is around 12 thousand, including about 3 thousand figurines found in Ukraine. There are over 100 settlements in the territory of Ukraine, where such artefacts have been found. As it has been mentioned in Part 1, the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture existed for over 2.5 thousand years. Just like any phenomenon, over such a period of time it gradually transformed, passing through the following stages: emergence – formation – development – advanced period – decline – extinction. This got further reflected in various local versions of the culture (there are about 60 of such versions today, as we’ve said above). Therefore, such cultural phenomenon as TAPA was constantly developing and transforming, too, and also had its regional differences. Figurines vary in sexual characteristics – female, male (though there are much less male ones than female ones), androgyne (combining features of both sexes), and children’s (e.g. stylised figurines of a child in mother’s arms). As for androgynes, historian and philosopher Mircea Eliade suggests that this phenomenon may be explained as a universal and sexless deity, which at the earthly plane may combine features of both sexes. researcher Natalia Burdo mentions the following:
In ancient mythology androgyne is a dualistic character with female and male features. It symbolises the principle of balance between the two opposite principles (masculine – feminine, active – passive), reflected in anthropomorphic codes. Androgyny is determined by both the idea of unity that preceded diversity of the world, and the idea of the primordial chaos and non-division of the universe between heaven (the male principle) and earth (the feminine principle).” ref
“Historians and archaeologists study all the trends, analyse and classify figurines. For example, famous archaeologist Mikhail Videyko notes the following: Figurines are very different by their overall appearance, poses, gestures, and decorative elements. There are more than fifteen various images embodied in Trypillian terracotta items, including the Bird Goddess, the Snake Goddess, the Cow Goddess, Oranta, Madonna, paired female deities, Androgyne, and Warrior.” ref
Cucuteni-Trypillian culture Goddesses on horned chairs from Poduri, Romania.” ref
Cucuteni-Trypillian culture “A chair-throne shaped as two goddesses (PlaTar collection). Figurines also differ in poses – standing or sitting. Near the sitting figurines, mostly at the earlier stages of the culture, stylised little chairs were often found. Researchers call some of them “horned”, since their backs are shaped as horns with their edges pointing upwards.” ref
Cucuteni-Trypillian culture “Believed to represent a bird-woman (PlaTar collection), Since ancient times the bird image signified connection with the spiritual world. Echoes of such ancient beliefs may be traced even today. For example, in Christianity a pigeon (earlier a dove) is a symbol of the Holy Spirit.” ref
“Badarian period, social stratification a starting to emerge within mortuary sites. Grave goods became telling of status. Upper classes had fancier designed ceramics, sometimes ivory figures, more elaborate cosmetic palettes, and crafted knifes located within their burials. Middle and lower classes also had similar items, like black topped ceramic and cosmetic palettes, though they were often much less showy in design.” ref
“By the time Naqada I takes place, social stratification is much more pronounced. Grave goods founds within rich and poor graves had more striking contrast, additionally there begins to a separation between grave sites for the very wealthy and the poorer classes. Grave goods like ceramics become more impressive, with smoother edges and more precision. Additionally, new goods like ivory and bone combs, slate palettes, flaked fish tail knives, and stone tools become begin to show up in graves. Additionally, the complexity of existing goods like the cosmetic palettes increases, as can be seen with the design of the elephant carved into one. Another interesting development in the stratification of Upper Predynastic mortuary practices is the development of tombs, which are grave complexes for the more wealthy members of society.” ref
“By the time Naqada II comes around, Predynastic Upper Egypt experienced increasing social complexity with large populations and an emerging state. Additionally, the difference between the rich and poor becomes more pronounced. In Naqada II there are some graves which are clearly elite, holding specialty goods like figurines, pallets depicting boats and humans, mace heads, beads, and weapons. Level of wealth increases during this time, but along with this comes the stratification of classes. It is interesting how as society develops and becomes more complex, it is inevitable that social stratification increases.” ref
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“A total of five enthroned figures were found at this site. One of them, the so-called Sickle God, depicts a male figure, while two others are undoubtedly female statuettes. The remaining two idols from this site are also unusual in that they have both female characteristics (breasts) and male ones (penis). The fifth statuette also has some sort of implement, perhaps an axe, slung over the shoulder. The two insignia or attributes indicate that these were the early depictions of deities with a specific function.” ref
“Neolithic Europe, in contrast to the following Bronze Age gender in this period was qualitatively different in form from the types of gender that emerged in Europe from about 5,000 years ago onwards. The latter Bronze Age unlike the Neolithic, gender was mostly binary, associated with ways that still formed the norms in European and American standard theories of gender today. Such as perceived lifelong gender identities expressed in recurrent complexes of gendered symbolism. In contrast, for the Neolithic “contextual gender” expressions, gender appears to have been less firmly associated with personal identity and more contextually relevant.” ref
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Siting goddesses of the prehistoric religion of ancient Malta
“Some goddess figurines have been found in western Europe, but the yields have been much richer at sites in Egypt, the Levant, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, and the Balkans. And some of the earliest elaborate figures come from the islands of Malta.” ref
“In several, images human figures played an important role, these seeming “fat ladies” are associated with the celebration of fertility, both human and agricultural. On one small group of islands, those of Malta, such figures became the object of an infatuation that was closely linked to the construction of the earliest public stone temple buildings in the world and the underground burial chambers related to them contained many images of obese humans–some no larger than a few centimeters, others the size of giants–as well as of animals and phallic symbols, representations of the so-called mother goddesses. Evidence suggests the religion itself encompassed a worship of human fecundity.” ref
“In the Balkans, such figures were kept in houses inside specially constructed niches in the walls. In Turkey, at the site of the 8 millennium B.C.E. settlement Çatal höyük, the finest figurines of clay and stone were associated with the burials of high-status people in special shrines, whereas cruder figurines were found in houses. During this time, agriculture became widely practiced in the Fertile Crescent and Anatolia.” ref
“The discovery of similar figurines at far-flung sites and from disparate eras inspired a long tradition of scholarly speculation about a widespread prehistoric religion based on the worship of the mother goddess. In the middle decades of this century, for example, some archaeologists tried to show that a cult of the Eye Goddess (so-called because of eye motifs on Mesopotamian idols) diffused throughout the entire Mediterranean. More recently, claims have been made that the Balkans were the center of an Old European religion.” ref
“Most modern scholars appreciate that the early cults were radically different in each prehistoric society and that the cults of domestic life were distinct from the cults of death and burial. The example of Malta demonstrates that variation most emphatically. Elsewhere in the Mediterranean, the cults generally involved simple domestic rituals; little effort was invested in religious art or architecture. In Malta, however, the worship of corpulent images gradually blossomed into a consuming passion. That fixation may have been able to take root because conditions there enabled a closed, isolated, introverted society to develop.” ref
“Today the dry, rocky, hilly islands of Malta seem inhospitable to farming communities. Little soil or vegetation is present, and obtaining fresh water is a problem. Yet the geologic evidence suggests that between 5,000 and 7,000 years ago, a far more inviting scene greeted the early inhabitants. There may be up to 7,000 individuals that had been buried in the 32 chambers of the hypogeum complex on Malta. They had been interred along with grave gifts of pots, obsidian and flint tools, jewelry consisting of beads and stone pendants, and clay and stone figures of obese people and animals. One of the most striking figures is the Sleeping Lady of the Hypogeum. This statuette shows a rotund female lying on her side on an elaborate woven bed. She is clothed in gathered skirts, and her hair is dressed in a small, neat bun.” ref
“Part of the sitting goddess phenomenon, this figurine is of a woman in clay sitting on a stool with an infant in her arms. Sesklo (Thessaly), 6,800-6,500 years ago. This figure depicts a mother and infant just as she prepares to nurse it but also sensitivity and tenderness.” ref
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“The continuous occupation from roughly 6,000 BC clearly formulated a broadly based cultural dynamic on which the Turkmen lifestyle was established and the first settlements in the Kopet Dagh piedmont of south-west Turkestan occur 7,800 years ago. The related prehistory of the adjacent areas of Iran, the Caucasus and the more distant and earlier cultures of Anatolia and the Levant which have influential developments in these areas should not be overlooked. And that the incipient settlements of south-western Turkestan must not be considered as separate from the developing cultural evolution that occurred within the entire area of the Middle East. By the end of the sixth millennium BC similarities of material culture and technology evident in the archaeological record, during what is known as the Jeitun phase.” ref
“As settlements, locations and their associated increases in population continued to grow over the next 3000 years, the success of early agricultural methods and animal domestication become quite apparent. It has been suggested that these techniques were introduced here by the migration of foreign and more highly sophisticated groups of settlers from the west and south. Surprisingly, at the beginning of the third millennium BC, the two largest and most developed urban centers of south-west Turkestan were abandoned and it was only in the south-eastern area of the Murghab river plain that cultural and technological advance continued.” ref
“During this early period, there is no evidence of substantial contact with the groups from the north and it was not until much later that the presence of northern steep nomads became prevalent. After 1000 BC, such contact can be well documented and the history of successive conquests of south-west Turkestan was begun. However these military and politically determined changes had little real effect on a basic culture and tradition which had been developing throughout the previous 5,000 years. The settlements of Namazga II c.4000-3500BC were concentrated in the central and eastern zones of the Kopet Dagh with little evidence of western development.” ref
“The increased size of some settlement areas and the appearance of fortified town walls signified a division between rich and poor and the necessity for defense of property. The fortifications at this early period were placed in only one area creating a walled-compound rather than the surrounding the entire settlement area. At Namazga-depe polychrome ceramics were prevalent and the first appearance of grey-ware pottery, which has been associated with the Gorgan Plain has been recorded. Pottery decorated with horizontal bands beneath the rim became common at many sites and a number of clay female figurines with legs bent in the so called sitting position and emphasizing breasts and sexual organs were found in the earlier levels of some sites in the Geoskyur oasis.” ref
“The artist sought to convey the image of a fertile woman: the mother goddess.” (2) Cult buildings or temples now have become a standard architectural unit at many sites and often contain altars that show evidence of ritualistic fire-burning. The important beginnings of craft specialization can be seen during this period in connection with technological advances in pottery production techniques and decoration. Trade with distant lands can be surmised from the increased number of foreign semi-precious stone beads and the further development of a class system with ascribed status has been inferred from the details of the archaeological record. Now “…southern Turkmenia was a prosperous country of agricultural oases, with developed architecture, gaily colored pottery and superb figurines.” ref
“All these achievements are particularly striking when compared with the other parts of western Central Asia; where at this time archaic Neolithic culture still predominated. It would seem that hunting, fishing and food-gathering, which were the chief activities of these local people, retarded the general economic progress so that the inhabitants of the northern parts of the country were outstripped by their south-western contemporaries”. During the next period c.3500-3000 BC great changes in religion, politics and culture associated with the rise of civilization in Mesopotamia and elsewhere were brought to south-west Turkestan through increased trade and cultural contact.” ref
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Hathor was a major goddess in ancient Egyptian religion who played a wide variety of roles.
“As a sky deity, she was the mother or consort of the sky god Horus and the sun god Ra, both of whom were connected with kingship, and thus she was the symbolic mother of their earthly representatives, the pharaohs. She was one of several goddesses who acted as the Eye of Ra, Ra’s feminine counterpart, and in this form, she had a vengeful aspect that protected him from his enemies. Her contrasting, beneficent side represented music, dance, joy, love, sexuality, and maternal care, and she acted as the consort of several male deities and the mother of their sons. These two sides of the goddess exemplified the Egyptian conception of femininity. Hathor also crossed boundaries between worlds, helping deceased souls in the transition to the afterlife. Hathor was often depicted as a cow, symbolizing her maternal and celestial aspects, although her most common form was a woman wearing a headdress of cow horns and a sun disk. She could also be represented as a lioness, cobra, or sycamore tree.” ref
“Cattle goddesses similar to Hathor were portrayed in Egyptian art in the fourth millennium BC, but she herself may not have appeared until the Old Kingdom (around 4,686–4,181 years ago). With the patronage of Old Kingdom rulers, she became one of Egypt’s most important deities. More temples were dedicated to her than to any other goddess, of which the most prominent was Dendera Temple in Upper Egypt. She was also worshipped in the temples of her male consorts. The Egyptians connected her with foreign lands such as Nubia and Canaan and their valuable goods, such as incense and semiprecious stones, and some of the peoples in those lands adopted her worship. In Egypt itself, she was one of the deities commonly invoked in private prayers and votive offerings, particularly by women desiring children.” ref
“This is Isis nursing Horus, from around 2,700 years ago. Isis is treated as the mother of Horus even in the earliest copies of the Pyramid Texts. Isis was also known for her magical power. As a sky goddess, many of the roles Isis acquired gave her an important position in the sky. Passages in the Pyramid Texts connect Isis closely with Sopdet, the goddess representing the star Sirius, whose relationship with her husband Sah—the constellation Orion.” ref
Seeming evidence of a Universal goddess
“In Ptolemaic times Isis’s sphere of influence could include the entire cosmos. As the deity that protected Egypt and endorsed its king, she had power over all nations, and as the provider of rain, she enlivened the natural world. The Philae hymn that initially calls her ruler of the sky goes on to expand her authority, so at its climax her dominion encompasses the sky, earth, and Duat. It says her power over nature nourishes humans, the blessed dead, and the gods. Other, Greek-language hymns from Ptolemaic Egypt call her “the beautiful essence of all the gods”. In the course of Egyptian history, many deities, major and minor, had been described in similar grand terms. Amun was most commonly described this way in the New Kingdom, whereas in Roman Egypt such terms tended to be applied to Isis. Such texts do not deny the existence of other gods but treat them as aspects of the supreme deity, a type of theology sometimes called “summodeism”.” ref
Sumerian Venus figures 4,300-3,800 years ago, from Mesopotamia
“The first figurine has Inanna seated upon her throne. She was the goddess who granted kingship. The other figure is from Ur. These would be representations of Inanna who was a very popular goddess. The hands on the breasts are a dead give away for the Venus figure. It is one of the indicators that a statue is the Great Goddess of Mother Earth. This posture became a standard form across many cultures from as early as the Venus of Lespugue.” ref
As seen, many figurines are missing heads and this is most likely connected to ritual not simply broken by accident and to me likely connects to the Skull cult.
Hints of Skull Cult Found at World’s Oldest Temple, Göbekli Tepe 10,000-7,000 years ago seemingly seen on Carved human skull fragments, Neolithic Turkey
Prehistoric Figurines Link: ref
According to “The Oxford Handbook of Prehistoric Figurines” edited by Timothy Insoll,
“In conclusion, the idea of figurine as process rather than end product changes our perspective and is indelibly linked to the idea of circulation and mobility: figurines are not static but mobile and potentially shifting things that enable material and social connectivity. Part of that malleability is their inherent possibilities for identity changes, narrative, and memory-making, evidenced by the Catalhoyuk detachable heads and ceramic anthropomorphic bodies with dowel holes. In addition, the removal or severing of heads in the case of stone figurines connects to actual human bodies and practices. Finally, this connects to the wider practice across media of embedding skeletal parts and plastering or covering them with cultural materials that replace impermanent natural ones. In doing so, both animals and humans were curated and preserved, they survived death and decay, and were incorporated into the very fabric of dwellings at the site. They served as ever-present reminders, fleshed out, of their former selves and former existence, redolent with memories, stories, or myths that are steeped in their attendant materiality.” ref
One of the seeming problems with understanding prehistory religion themes and behaviors is the seeming contradictory or multifaceted nature to things which could seem to engage in contradiction. Not remembering the seeming contradictions we express or experiences even in present-day cultures as well as religions. Take for instance many eastern cultures are more communal in nature, things are more geared to group/family identity but don’t engage in this with the ancestor worship that is more individualistic in nature or in the west that is more individualistic in nature, things are more geared to the individual achieving personal identity but don’t engage in this fully as they are expected to stick to the norm of the larger culture not deviating too much individualistically as there are held group/family norms all individuals actually are expected to adhere to one extent or another, showing cultural contradictions.
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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 underworld. Ki 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 religion. Egyptian mythology exceptionally has a sky goddess and an Earth god.” ref
“A mother goddess is a goddess who represents or is a personification of nature, motherhood, fertility, creation, destruction 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
“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) in Korean shamanism, jangseung 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 Seonangdang. In 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 (Kawi, Sundanese, Javanese, 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 mythology, Tiki 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 Ur; Ancient 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 Athens, Sparta, Thebes, 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 Florence, Siena, Ferrara, Milan (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 Itza, Tikal, Copán and Monte Albán); the central Asian cities along the Silk Road; the city-states of the Swahili coast; Ragusa; 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:
- Brownie (Scotland and England) or Hob (England) / Kobold (Germany) / Goblin / Hobgoblin
- Domovoy (Slavic)
- Nisse (Norwegian or Danish) / Tomte (Swedish) / Tonttu (Finnish)
- Húsvættir (Norse)” ref
“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
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 “Tell Abu Shahrain”)
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/Ruler Lugalzagesi)
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)
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 (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 Quotes, My YouTube, Twitter: @AthopeMarie, and My Email: firstname.lastname@example.org