Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Male-Homosexual (female-like) / Trans-woman (female) Seated Figurine from Gobekli Tepe

I suspect hole #1 (top figure) which is directly under the area that would represent an anus and below an obvious erect phallus as well as being in a common position for female sitting figures implies a female-like nature to me. I surmise this gay male/transwoman (female natured/third gender/two-spirited) is thus fertility cult connected and likely expresses a homosexual male/transgender characteristic placing it “for me” in the sitting “Venus Phenomena” as it’s female counterparts with such features demand. Which I think involved early paganistic traits.

“Heteronormativity is the concept that heterosexuality is the preferred or normal mode of sexual orientation.[1] It assumes the gender binary (i.e., that there are only two distinct, opposite genders) and that sexual and marital relations are most fitting between people of opposite sex. A heteronormative view, therefore, involves alignment of biological sexsexualitygender identity, and gender roles. Heteronormativity is often linked to heterosexism and homophobia. The effects of societal heteronormativity on lesbiangay, and bisexual individuals can be examined as heterosexual or “straight” privilege.” ref

Introduction to “Binary Binds”: Deconstructing Sex and Gender Dichotomies in Archaeological Practice



“Gender archaeology has made significant strides toward deconstructing the hegemony of binary categorizations. Challenging dichotomies such as man/woman, sex/gender, and biology/culture, approaches informed by poststructuralist, feminist, and queer theories have moved beyond essentialist and universalist identity constructs to more nuanced configurations. Despite the theoretical emphasis on context, multiplicity, and fluidity, binary starting points continue to streamline the spectrum of variability that is recognized, often reproducing normative assumptions in the evidence. The contributors to this special issue confront how sex, gender, and sexuality categories condition analytical visibility, aiming to develop approaches that respond to the complexity of theory in archaeological practice. The papers push the ontological and epistemological boundaries of bodies, personhood, and archaeological possibility, challenging a priori assumptions that contain how sex, gender, and sexuality categories are constituted and related to each other. Foregrounding intersectional approaches that engage with ambiguity, variability, and difference, this special issue seeks to “de-contain” categories, assumptions, and practices from “binding” our analytical gaze toward only certain kinds of persons and knowledges, in interpretations of the past and practices in the present.” ref

Normalising Queer Representation in Archaeology

“Heteronormativity, the idea that heterosexual identity and desire is considered the norm, is being transformed by the use of Queer Theory in archaeology. Queer Theory is used to explore aspects of culture that is traditionally rejected as valid depictions of gender and sexuality. Commonly used for gender representation at burial sites, the identity of deceased individuals is being radically transformed through the consideration of Queer relationships; intersexual identities, and non-binary status. The requirements used to identify biological sex is typically constructed through heteronormative approaches, where intersexual identities are rarely considered. In order to fill the gap in knowledge that heteronormativity fails in, scholars have been using Queer Theory to challenge socially constructed views of gender. First used in the 1990’s to offer a more balanced approach to gender, Queer Theory was used by various different fields, during a time that Third-Wave Feminism was at its height. During the Third-Wave, the concept that a male-dominating society does have an impact on the value of women led to the rise of Queer minority voices currently underrepresented.” ref

“A heteronormative approach to archaeological burial spaces results in a lot of unknown’s which largely affects our understanding of the past. Unknown sex results caused by the strict male/female categories neglects human remains which possess both male and female attributes, and results in a refusal to consider an intersexual identity. Same-sex double burials introduce the possibility for Queer representation, but has been considered as sexual deviancy (Reynolds 2009: 170) alongside adultery and incest. Other interpretations try to break down the possibility for a Queer analysis by denouncing a homosexual relationship, and instead reasserting a heterosexual approach by suggesting a female double burial is the result of a woman and her maid, rather than a same-sex relationship.” ref

“The stereotypes which contemporary society places on the past has resulted in a highly patriarchal society, devoid of Queer representation. When interpreting burial spaces archaeologists need to be prompted to consider a Queer status, without favoring an elite male perspective. Normalizing the consideration of a Queer status should begin at skeletal analysis, where remains with both male and female sex characteristics are not disregarded, but validated through the application of Queer Theory. The strict categories of sex determination do not allow for biological sex fluidity, and as a result, a significant number of individuals from the past are not only ignored, but not included as a part of human history. Through the misinterpretation of same-sex double burials, an under-researched and valuable part of LGBTQ+ history is forgotten, and with it the female Greek poet Sappho’s hope being unfulfilled: Someone, I tell you, will remember us, even in another time.” ref

8,000-6,000 years ago Fragmentary Seated Gay Male / Trans-Woman / Intersex Figure with Missing Head

The bottom seared figure dated to Greek (Neolithic) 8,000-6,000 years ago, which I surmise could represent a gay 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 Gobekli Tepe 9,600-8,000 years ago in southeastern Turkey/Anatolia I surmise could also likely expresses a homosexual/transgender characteristic and both seem to have something that was on their backs. And as the one we are sure of is a young cat/bear crawling on his back similar animal companions is the female sitting figure has on her front 8,000-7,500 years ago from Hacilar in southwestern Turkey.

“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 the 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. The first depiction of a seated person seen above in the 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

The Venus of Hohle Fels (ancestor archetype totem?) dates back at least 35,000 years to the Aurignacian cultural period of Europe (43,000 to 26,000 years ago) and the start of woman as a totem. That Aurignacian culture (Animist-Totemist) was succeeded around 33,000 years ago by Gravettian culture of Europe (Animist-Totemist-Shamanist) at around 31,000 years ago with their first Venus figurine. However, most so-called Venus figurines date from the Gravettian cultural period dating between 26,000 –21,000 years ago. This cultural period too, was overtaken by the Magdalenian cultural period of Europe (Animist-Totemist-Shamanist)(17,000 to 12,000 years ago) (archetype “femaleness” spirit protector?) ending their last Female statuette the Venus of Monruz which may date back about 11,000 years ago. ref

  • “The term “inconspicuous penis” could be a short penile shaft, that is, micropenis, or more commonly due to abnormalities of the investing structures. The latter group is further divided as buried penis, webbed penis, and trapped penis.” ref
  • “The term “micropenis” is most often used medically when the rest of the penis, scrotum, and perineum are without ambiguity, such as hypospadias. Of the abnormal conditions associated with micropenis, most are conditions of reduced prenatal androgen production or effect, such as abnormal testicular development (testicular dysgenesis), Klinefelter syndromeLeydig cell hypoplasia, specific defects of testosterone or dihydrotestosterone synthesis (17,20-lyase deficiency5α-reductase deficiency), androgen insensitivity syndromes, inadequate pituitary stimulation (gonadotropin deficiency), and other forms of congenital hypogonadism. Micropenis can also occur as part of many genetic malformation syndromes that do not involve the sex chromosomes.” ref
  • “The term “Intersex” involves “Intersex people” who are individuals born with any of several sex characteristics including chromosome patterns, gonads, or genitals that, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, “do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies”. Though the range of atypical sex characteristics may be obvious from birth through the presence of physically ambiguous genitalia, in other instances, atypical characteristics may go unnoticed, presenting as ambiguous internal reproductive organs or atypical chromosomes that may remain unknown to an individual all of their life. The number of births with ambiguous genitals is in the range of 0.02% to 0.05%. Other conditions involve atypical chromosomes, gonads, or hormones. Some persons may be assigned and raised as a girl or boy but then identify with another gender later in life, while most continue to identify with their assigned sex. The number of births where the baby is intersex has been reported differently depending on who reports and which definition of intersex is used.” ref
Male Breasts (Gynaecomastia)?
“Gynaecomastia itself is not considered an intersex condition, however, often it can be associated with intersex conditions such as Klinefelter syndromeGynecomastia is the abnormal non-cancerous enlargement of one or both breasts in males due to the growth of breast tissue as a result of a hormone imbalance between estrogen and androgen. Gynecomastia can be normal in newborn babies due to exposure to estrogen from the mother, in adolescents going through puberty, and in older and obese men. Other causes may include metabolic dysfunction or a natural decline in testosterone production.” 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 assinnukurgarru, 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

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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31,000-30,000 Years Ago – Dolni Vestonice (Czech Republic), found a triple ritual burial that contains three males posed to either side of a male with a possible pelvic deformity (could this reference some intersex condition possibly even a non-standard gender identity, as it was first believed the middle body was female which it was not. Such as the Native American idea of “Twospirit” refers to a person who identifies as having both a masculine and a feminine spirit, and is used by some Indigenous people to describe their sexual, gender, and/or spiritual identity. DNA traces Native Americans’ ancestry to Siberia and One wave of migration from Siberia populated the Americas, DNA shows). Speaking about a non-standard gender identity, we do have the Hermaphrodite Venus from Balzi Rossi is one Venus figurine (Balzi Rossi Venus figures) carved from translucent green Soapstone found at Balzi Rossi, Italy that had a surface is polished and worn showing repeated use. The Venus figurines of Balzi Rossi involves thirteen Paleolithic sculptures of the female body. The age of these figurines cannot be determined but it is usually accepted that these figurines stem from the Gravettian, about 24,000 to 19,000 years old. Ritual related to lower part of the “Hermaphrodite figure’s” genitals looking similar to testicles with no penis, buried or Hidden Penis one showing the area of vertical lines on the scrotum some take as hair has traces of red ochre. Referring to a hidden penis may entail abnormalities that are present at birth and often comes along with other physical problems, such On a physical level, men with a buried penis need to urinate sitting down, and being unable to get an erection or if they can, it may be painful and/or may not be able to penetrate a vagina. Buried penis is not common. One study found that it was present in less than 4 percent of newborn boys in Japan. The condition tends to be congenital, which means it’s present when a baby is born. I believe that it is Ancient Siberian Shamanism with animistic as well as totemistic elements that seems evident in Native Americans religious beliefs. A large minority of people in North Asia, particularly in Siberia, follow the religio-cultural practices of shamanism. Some researchers regard Siberia as the heartland of shamanism. The people of Siberia comprise a variety of ethnic groups, many of whom continue to observe shamanistic practices in modern times. Many classical ethnographers recorded the sources of the idea of “shamanism” among Siberian peoples. The region supports a wide variety of cultures, practices, and beliefs which fall within a classification of shamanism. The word “shaman” probably originates from the Tungusic Evenki language of North Asia. Spusificly, The word “shaman” probably originates from the Evenki word šamán, most likely from the southwestern dialect spoken by the Sym Evenki peoples. The Tungusic term was subsequently adopted by Russians interacting with the indigenous peoples in Siberia.

  • ‘shaman’: saman (Nedigal, Nanay, Ulcha, Orok), sama (Manchu). The variant /šaman/ (i.e.,      pronounced “shaman”) is Evenk (whence it was borrowed into Russian).
  • ‘shaman’: alman, olman, wolmen (Yukagir)
  • ‘shaman’: [qam] (Tatar, Shor, Oyrat), [xam] (Tuva, Tofalar)
  • The Buryat word for shaman is бөө (böö) [bøː], from early Mongolian böge.
  • ‘shaman’: ńajt      (Khanty, Mansi), from Proto-Uralic *nojta (c.f. Sámi noaidi)
  • ‘shamaness’: [iduɣan] (Mongol), [udaɣan] (Yakut), udagan (Buryat), udugan (Evenki, Lamut), odogan (Nedigal). Related forms found in various Siberian languages include utagan, ubakan, utygan, utügun, iduan, or duana. All these are related to the Mongolian name of Etügen, the hearth goddess, and Etügen Eke ‘Mother Earth’. Maria Czaplicka points out that Siberian languages use words for male shamans from diverse roots, but the words for female shaman are almost all from the same root. She connects this with      the theory that women’s practice of shamanism was established earlier than      men’s, that “shamans were originally female.”

Shamans may be called through dreams or signs. However, shamanic powers may be inherited. In traditional societies, shamanic training varies in length, but generally takes years. Turner and colleagues mention a phenomenon called a shamanistic initiatory crisis, a rite of passage for shamans-to-be, commonly involving physical illness and/or psychological crisis. The significant role of initiatory illnesses in the calling of a shaman can be found in the detailed case history of Chuonnasuan, who was the last master shaman among the Tungus peoples in Northeast China. The wounded healer is an archetype for a shamanic trial and journey. This process is important to the young shaman. They undergo a type of sickness that pushes them to the brink of death. This happens for two reasons:

  • The shaman crosses over to the underworld. This happens so the shaman can venture to its depths to bring back vital information for the sick and the tribe.
  • The shaman must become sick to understand sickness. When the shaman overcomes their own sickness, they will hold the cure to heal all that suffer. This is the uncanny mark of the wounded healer.

The bodies were of three teenagers, one of the males had his hand between the female’s legs, where there is a stone too. This site is unique in that it has been a particularly abundant source of prehistoric artifacts (especially art) dating from the Gravettian period, which spanned roughly 29,000 to 22,000 years ago. Dolni Vestonice is an open-air site located along a stream. Its people hunted mammoths and other herd animals, saving mammoth and other bones that could be used to construct a fence-like boundary, separating the living space into a distinct inside and outside. In this way, the perimeter of the site would be easily distinguishable. At the center of the enclosure was a large bonfire and huts were grouped together within the barrier of the bone fence. In addition to the abundance of art, this site also includes carved representations of men, women, and animals, along with personal ornaments, human burials, and enigmatic engravings. Moreover, red ochre was placed between the female’s legs as well as on the heads of all three people. The other male lay on his stomach facing away from female but holding hand with a mask which depicts the woman. Also found was a single burial of women covered in red ochre along with two mammoth bones on top of her and there is a clay carving of her next to her. Women seem to hold some possible specialness and women of Ice Age Europe were not mere cave wives but shamanistic leaders, clever inventors, and mighty hunters. Furthermore, this site has one of the earliest known potter’s kiln as well as 2,300 clay figurines; venus figurines, animals, and some weapons, evidence of trade, and a hollowed bone for flute. Specifically, there is a female figurine called the black Venus of Dolni Vestonice a reddish clay figurine. Goddesses are usually inferred from depictions of females, whether sculpted or painted. However, I don’t believe all female figurines are goddesses I think it more likely they are ancestor totems or some other spirit. Moreover, I don’t believe it is right to brand all female figurines as earth mothers, fertility goddesses, but some may have been earth mothers, fertility goddesses, we just don’t. Although what we do know is while the rituals may differ by gender, or may be separated by gender in many cultures, the ability to reach the spirits is often perceived as essentially female and the female gender may have been attributed to the first supernatural entities. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11

The Hermaphrodite/Intersex Venus from Balzi Rossi

“The Hermaphrodite, so named by Piette, probably has the same origin as the Losange Venus and the Polichinelle Venus and has also been acquired and published by Piette. The statuette, of translucent green soapstone, is badly damaged: the head is broken off, a flake removed from the back of the thighs and lower buttocks, and it has also been broken into three pieces that were glued together. As it stands, the figure is 52 mm high, 17 mm wide, and 11 mm thick, and the maximum dimensions are at the pelvis.” ref

“The surface is polished and worn, with remains of concretions in the concave parts. The neck, what remains of it, is shown clearly. The torso is very flat, with normal breasts hanging low. The belly is large, but not commensurate with that of the Losange for example. Under the stomach are three difficult to interpret features: laterally, two elongated subtriangular masses we have considered the representation of hands on the belly, which is possible but not obvious, since they might also be inguinal fat folds.” ref

“For the central feature, it is held to be an erect penis, but this is unconvincing. It takes a lot of imagination to distinguish the penis, which remains the essential element of the phallic representation; as for the roughly circular mass that is found below it, it could be a testicular pouch.” ref

“For the rest, hips, buttocks, and thighs are of normal proportions, with no trace of extra fat deposits. In what remains of the dorsal side, since there is a very moderate projection of the buttocks, there is no trace of steatopygia. The back of the statue, despite its poor condition, is also very interesting. It is well-shaped, with a spinal depression around the shoulder blades, and an indication of the curvature of the small of the back, emphasized by a cluster of parallel incisions; the buttocks, as we have said, are normal, with an incomplete medial hole for the anus. As for the legs, the lower limbs are broken off at the knees.” ref

“It might be thought that the incisions marking the curvature of the small of the back represented a belt, reminiscent of the Russian Kostenki statuettes, and one can observe that these incisions extend on either side of the figure and join at the front, at the lateral features mentioned above. It is, therefore, possible to suppose that the whole thing, the back belt, and the frontal features, represent an ornament of some kind – as well as possibly male organs.” ref

“The fact is that in the present state of our knowledge, it would be unwise to affirm too authoritatively one or other of these interpretations. Details of incisions which are similar in the Hermaphrodite and the Ivory figurine in red ochre. The lower part of the ‘Hermaphrodite’ showing the area of vertical incisions. And the hair of the ‘Ivory figurine in red ochre’.  The most enigmatic of the pieces is seen as the ‘Hermaphrodite’, which, although endowed with breasts, and clearly pregnant, is depicted with a bulge at the crotch marked by vertical incisions and a trough that runs from the top of the bulge to the base of the protruding abdomen.” ref

“This bulge was first interpreted as an erect phallus and testicles on a female torso, hence its name. It has also been argued that these attributes show a birth, the bulge being the head of a baby emerging and the lines indicating the hair. In support of this interpretation, it should be noted that the technique to represent the hair is identical to that used on the ‘Ivory figurine in red ochre’.” ref

Venus figurines of Balzi Rossi

“The Venus figurines of Balzi Rossi (also: Venus figurines of Grimaldi, Venus figurines from the Balzi-Rossi-Caves) from the caves near Grimaldi di Ventimiglia (Italy) are thirteen Paleolithic sculptures of the female body. Additionally, two small depictions of the human head were discovered at the same place. The age of these figurines cannot be determined because of missing archaeological context data. It is usually accepted that these figurines stem from the Gravettian, about 24,000 to 19,000 years old. Most of the sculptures consist of steatite and are between 2.4 and 7.5 cm in height. Eight of these sculptures are housed in the museum Saint-Germain-en-Laye near Paris.” ref

“The Balzi Rossi caves (Ligurian: baussi rossi “red rocks”) in Ventimiglia comune, Liguria, Italy, is one of the most important archaeological sites of the early Upper Paleolithic in Western Europe.

· Riparo Mochi remains, evidence for the earliest presence of modern humans in Europe (early Aurignacian, 42,000 years ago).

· Grimaldi Man (Gravettian, c. 25,000 years)

· Venus figurines of Balzi Rossi (Gravettian, c. 22,000 years)” ref


“The hermaphrodithe substantive derives from a mythical divinity, Hermaphrodithe exactly, son of Hermes and Aphrodite, from which his name, that however derives also from andros (in Greek, man) and guné (in Greek, woman); such derivation alludes in immediate and clear way to the possession of both the sexes. Hermaphrodithe is an original divinity from the East, and just from Syria; Syria transmitted them to the Cypriots, near which, more than elsewhere, we have found the traces.” ref

“According to a myth of literary and not religious origin, reported by Ovid, Hermaphrodithe would be the son of Hermes and Aphrodite. Near the Greeks and the Romans it seems that Hermaphrodithe has not had cult, and according to some opinions, of such divinity took care the figurative arts and the poetry, more than the religion; this, near the Greeks, from which historical works of art and news reach us. Therefore, the God Hermaphrodithe encloses in himself the two polarities, man and woman.” ref

“Between the Greek philosophers, after Heraclitus , that had emphasized the unit of the contraryes (” the identity is the other face of the diversity “), Plato supported the androgynous origin of the man.
In his Dialogues we read:
” In principle three were the sexes of the human gender, and not two like now, male and female, but there were also a third common to both, of which the name is remained, while it is disappeared; this was then the androgynous gender, and its aspect and its name participated of both, of male and of female, while now is remained only the name, that sounds as derision… the shape of every man was all round … and two faces over the round neck, similar in all; and on both the faces, oriented in opposite sense, a only head, and four ears, and two sexes… the male had origin from the sun, the female from the earth, and who participated of both genders from the moon, as the moon participates of the sun and the earth “.ref

“The tendency to the union of the opposite ones was emphasized by Freud, at the beginnings of the past century, during his studies about the language, in “Opposite meaning of primal words” (1909), with the observation of the tendency of the ancient languages to express opposite concepts, or, more just, the relationship between the two meanings, with an only word. This, regarding the world of the thought.” ref

“The iconographic features of Hermaphrodithe remain however male. In fact, Hermaphrodithe, son of divinity, is born like male divinity, and then have become hybrid divinity, participating together with the male and feminine spirituality, that is he has transformed himself, or, if we want, has been transformed from the Gods, and the Salmace nymph, who has continued to live, that is to cohabit, in his body, and, spiritually, in his mind.” ref

“Let us go now from the representative iconography to the poetic representation. We are debtors to Homer the most authoritative prototype of representation of every transformation, with the description of the magic operated from Circe on the companions of Ulixes, transformed in pigs. To Nicander, Greek poet of Colofon (150 B.C), we are debtors of an intersting work, the Metamorphoses, from which probably Ovid inspired himself. Many catalogs of myths, especially those of alexandrine age, diffused at Rome from the beginnings of the century, offered rich cues on the topic of the transformation, and inspired numerous poets, between which Catulle and Virgil.” ref

“Sure Ovid knew these myths, and above all from it he takes inspiration for the work of wide breath of the Metamorphoses, rich of legends, directed to establish a poetic tie between man and vegetable, animal and mineral kingdom, collected by the poet during his travels in Greece, Asia Minor, Egypt, and Sicily, but also from the Teogony and the Catalogue of the Women by Hesiod, beyond that, as remembered, by the alexandrin poets Callimachus, Partenius and Nicander.” ref

“In particular, in the Metamorphoses, whose topic is ” to change the shapes in new bodies “, the poet of Sulmona tells the myth of the Salmacide nymph who, in a fountain near Alicarnassus, clings to the body of the beautifulst loved young man, in order never to be separate, giving place to a new creature, the Hermaphrodithe exactly: tale in which the metamorphosis appears like the only solution for a real situation of separation, without other possibility.” ref

“In Metamorphosis, Ovid therefore narrates of this young man, breeded by the Naiads, “cuius erat facies, in qua materque paterque cognosci possent; nomen quoque traxit ab illis.”; he had a so beautiful aspect, that it was possible to recognize the father and the mother, and he had also the name from them; until, 15 years old, abandoned the native mounts , near a water mirror in the country of the Carii, the most feminine nymph Salmace view him:“puerum vidit visumque optavit habere “.” ref

“The young man, unaware of the love, refused the explicit demands of the nymph that, inflamed of love, in her turn threw in the waters in which Hermaphrodithe was immersed, closely clinging to him, taking root as the ivy to the log, in spite of the resistance of him, praying gods never to be separated “…et istum nulla dies a me nec me deducat ab isto.” (vv 372-73). The Gods received her prayer: the two united bodies melt in an only figure: ” “vota suos habuere deos; nam mixta duorum corpora iunguntur, faciesque inducitur illis una.” ;” nec duo sunt et forma duplex, nec femina dici nec puer ut possit, neutrumque et utrumque videntur”. Therefore they was not more two, but an ambiguous being that is neither woman, neither man, that has the aspect of both and nobody of the two.” ref

“Our Latin grandfathers, therefore, like the other people of the Mediterranean basin, whithout speaking about the rest of the earth, fabled with many myths. Near the first historical civilizations of the oriental Mediterraneum and the Middle East, many types of civilization have been followed in the time, near which complex myth wealth is one. Much divinities are the same, but they change name and features in the time and the space.” ref

“From written testimonies we know about divinities, daughters of divinities, like Hermaphrodithe. Let us see his history more near. His father Hermes (just, Hermes Trimegistus, that is three times most great, and near the Latins then roman Mercury, messenger of the Gods), even if son of Zeus, is a Greek interpretation of the Egyptian God Thot, lunar god of the transformations, and Nabu (the God scribe, that controlled the correlation between words of various languages , therefore bringing us again to the concept of duplicity to harmonize; he was also messenger, like Hermes) of the mesopotamic tradition, at the time of Hammurabi (1700 BCE), by philosophers and theologists of the hellenistic times. And these are historical news of the time.” ref

“If the interpretation of a God, who, from a religion to the other, changes his name, is equivalent to descendancys, then it can be said that the Egyptian god Thot venerated at Hermopolis was the ” father ” of Hermes, at least according to the concept of cultural evolution of the divinities, that is the one who has come before, leaving one own inheritance. It is interesting to notice, about the hermaphrodithisme, that it was believed that Thot had been created from himself to the beginning, together to his wife Maat. Similarly at Menphys, the probable corresponding, Ptah, venerated like Atum at Heliopolis, creates himself leaving from the original chaos (Nun). It is matter of the so-called ” original gods” (the menphis Enneadis numbered nine gods).” ref

“Also, Hapi, God of the Nilus, personification of the fertility of Egypt, iconographically is hermaphrodite, man with the hanging breasts. Finally, it can be interesting to remember that, in the Jewish-Christian tradition, Angel derives from the Greek Aggelos, that means ” messenger “, and, in the popular tradition, we know that the angel sends back to the uncertainty concerning the sex, that could go back to the image of the Hermaphrodite. Other news reaches to us from archaeology, through the iconography of the divinities, where not there was, or not was still the writing.” ref

“In all the religions, the divinities have an iconographic, or natural, or invisibile semblance. The natural semblance of the divinity can be the sun, the moon, a plant, an animal, a man, or other, that however, in the time and the space, has also an artistic representation. The invisible semblances of the divinity are narrated orally. However, in the iconography of the divinity (artistic representation) and in the natural divinities is always the oral confrontation, i.e., the faithful knows who is the represented subject, or the natural subject, and which are its divine qualities, and, if he does not know it, the schaman or the priest remembers it to him.” ref

“In the first city civilizations and in the prehistory the iconography of the divinities is nearly exclusively constituted from hybrids of men and animals. We can find these hybrids also in the ethnography. The vicissitude of the mutations is eternal, and we find again it at the origin of the life: if today it is spoken about Big-bang, a time was spoken about the Cosmos emergent from the chaos. Therefore also, the interlace man / nature in its various shapes is ancient how much the man.” ref

“The iconography of the divinities from the prehistory to the historical times, in much synthetic way, is the following:
– two humanheads joined for the nape, of the same or different sex,
– one human head and one of animal joined for the nape,
– head of animal with human body,
– head of animal mixed to human head,
– human head with animal body, – animals made with several parts of the human and animal body,
– men made with several parts of animals,
– men made with parts of animals, and of men of male and feminine sex,
– monstrous beings with much heads, many legs, many hands, etc,
-human heads bound together human or animal ,
– others.” ref

Hermes the ” father ” of Hermaphrodite was represented with two, three, four heads. At Athens, by the Ceramic, there was an image with four heads with an inscription: ” O Hermes tetracefalus, beautiful work of Telesarchides, you see all …” We find Hermes a little everywhere, near the Romans (transformed in Janus (two-faced) protecting the door; in Thrace like God of Kings in the features of the rider with three heads; etc.” ref

In the Prehistory and in the first urban civilizations they existed, also, divinities represented with the features only of men, or women, or animals. In these cases, to establish if it is a matter of divinities is not always possible.
With the historical civilizations, it begins, in art, also the representation of not religious subjects, sometimes placed side by side with those religious, like kings, emperors, military leaders, but always tied to a symbology of power, similar to the religious symbology.” ref

In fact, the sculptures of Roman emperors were present in all the empire, in equal repeated copies, as the sculptures of the divinity of the age. Hermaphrodithe is an important divinity because he comprises two beings, the man and the woman, even if iconographically the aspect is male. Hermaphrodithe is not the only hybrid divinity man-woman of every time and of the world; besides the bisexual known divinities; where a written history of the representation of a male divinity there is not, we do not know nothing. In the two-faced anthropomorhic representations there are divinities where the two heads have the beard, and others where, one has the beard and the other have not.” ref

“It is, therefore, possible that the face that does not have the beard is feminine, in how much, if the head were male, would be smaller than the head with beard, i.e it would be the head of a boy. However, there was also who cut the beard. The priests who have venered Hermaphrodithe, probably, had already an innovator mentality. Hermaphrodithe was sure a requirement of a category of faithfuls, that has been realized iconographically in new way, that sure experienced of a culturally new world like that hellenistic one. That is, not more a visible union of two joined heads, of man and woman, already present before, and after Hermaphrodite, but the fusion of two spiritualities in an only body.” ref

“The ancient Jewish had a God with four heads, as also Hermes had. Since the religions progress, the Jewish have abolished the representations of the God in order to avoid the idolatry, as after also the Islamics. Hermes, the ” father ” of Hermaèphrodithe, has a great iconographic documentation, in how much, as it has been said, often he is represented with two, three, four heads, what constitutes a point of reference for the study of the bifrontisme.” ref

“In Greece, Hermes was ” protecting of the roads “, ” guide of the pedestrians”, and protected ” against malignant phantoms and spirits “. In Thrace (II – III century a. C.) it was ” God of the kings “, ” solar divinity “, ” God of the oaths (made by the kings). Near the Celts, he is ” progenitor and founder of kings lineage”. At Micene he is ” lord of the animals “. The father of Hermaphrodithe was therefore a powerful and authoritative divinity, venerated in some places by the people, and in other only by the powerful men.” ref

Hermaphrodithe is a young divinity, and thinks to the amusement. He is a young person of extraordinary beauty, who wants to play. He refused the offers of the Salmace nymph, and when he was dived for game, in the fountain, the nymph clung around and they become one. Hermaphrodithe, between the ancient divinities, is, perhaps, that one of which it is known less. Its name, the name of the father, of the mother, his history of love of very short time are known. Aphrodite, the ” mother ” of Hermaphrodithe, was the Greek Goddess of the love, the beauty, of the fertilility, which corresponds the roman Venus. She was Goddess of the joy and the joy. Her cult was joined to the symbol of the dove.” ref

“The iconography of Hermaphrodithe is known, not as divinity at Cyprus and in Syria, but as ” fabulous being ” in Greece. Near the Greeks, Hermaphrodite is represented in beautiful sculptures, and is beautiful also he. His aspect is male, in how much he has the penis. The representations of hermaphrodithe in hellenistic Greece do not have a constant tipology like for other divinities, and are each different from the other. The style of representation, like for other hellenistic sculptures of divinity, is the search of the beautiful , with human parts taken from persons of harmonious features, and bound together.” ref

“In the case of the representations of Hermaphrodythe, there are parts of his body, that are taken from feminine bodies, in how much in the male bodies came evidenced the musculature. In the tipology of the religious iconography, Hermaphrodithe re-enters in the ” invisibile bifrontisme “, in how much we know that he is a double creature, but it is not looked at. If the writing had not existed, today, we would not know nothing about Hermaphrodithe.” ref


“In Greek mythology, Hermaphroditus or Hermaphroditos, was a child of Aphrodite and Hermes. According to Ovid, he was born a remarkably handsome boy with whom the naiad Salmacis fell in love and prayed to be united forever. A god, in answer to her prayer, merged their two forms into one and transformed him into an intersex being. His name is compounded of his parents’ names, Hermes and Aphrodite. He was one of the Erotes. Because Hermaphroditus was a child of Hermes, and consequently a great-grandchild of Atlas (Hermes’s mother Maia was the daughter of Atlas), sometimes he is called Atlantiades. Hermaphroditus’ name is the basis for the word hermaphrodite. Hermaphroditus, the two-sexed child of Aphrodite and Hermes (Venus and Mercury) had long been a symbol of androgyny or effeminacy, and was portrayed in Greco-Roman art as a female figure with male genitals.” ref

Theophrastus‘s account also suggests a link between Hermaphroditus and the institution of marriage. The reference to the fourth day of the month is telling: this is the luckiest day to have a wedding. Hermaphroditus’s association with marriage seems to have been that, by embodying both masculine and feminine qualities, he symbolized the coming together of men and women in sacred union. Another factor linking Hermaphroditus to weddings was his parents’ role in protecting and blessing brides. Hermaphroditus’s name is derived from those of his parents Hermes and Aphrodite. All three of these gods figure largely among erotic and fertility figures, and all possess distinctly sexual overtones. Sometimes, Hermaphroditus is referred to as Aphroditus.” ref


“Ovid’s account relates that Hermaphroditus was nursed by naiads in the caves of Mount Ida, a sacred mountain in Phrygia (present-day Turkey). At the age of fifteen, he grew bored with his surroundings and traveled to the cities of Lycia and Caria. It was in the woods of Caria, near Halicarnassus (modern Bodrum, Turkey) that he encountered the nymph, Salmacis, in her pool. She was overcome by lust for the boy, who was very handsome but still young, and tried to seduce him, but was rejected. When he thought her to be gone, Hermaphroditus undressed and entered the waters of the empty pool. Salmacis sprang out from behind a tree and jumped into the pool. She wrapped herself around the boy, forcibly kissing him and touching his breast. While he struggled, she called out to the gods that they should never part.” ref

“Her wish was granted, and their bodies blended into one form, “a creature of both sexes”. Hermaphroditus prayed to Hermes and Aphrodite that anyone else who bathed in the pool would be similarly transformed, and his wish was granted. “In this form the story was certainly not ancient,” Károly Kerényi noted. He compared the myth of the beautiful ephebe with Narcissus and Hyacinthus, who had an archaic hero-cult, and Hymenaios. Diodorus Siculus in his work Library of History mention, that some say that Hermaphroditus is a god and appears at certain times among men, but there are some who declare that such creatures of two sexes are monstrosities, and coming rarely into the world as they do have the quality of presaging the future, sometimes for evil and sometimes for good.” ref

Cult and Worship

Article: Aphroditus

“The oldest traces of the cult in Greek countries are found in Cyprus. Here, according to Macrobius (Saturnalia, iii. 8), there was a bearded statue of a male Aphrodite, called Aphroditus by Aristophanes. Philochorus in his Atthis (ap. Macrobius loc. cit.) further identified this divinity, at whose sacrifices men and women exchanged garments, with the Moon. A terracotta plaque from the 7th century BCE depicting Aphroditos was found in Perachora, which suggests it was an archaic Greek cult. The deification and the origins of the cult of hermaphrodite beings stem from Eastern religions, where the hermaphrodite nature expressed the idea of a primitive being that united both genders. This double sex also attributed to Dionysus and Priapus – the union in one being of the two principles of generation and conception – denotes extensive fertilizing and productive powers.” ref

“This Cyprian Aphrodite is the same as the later Hermaphroditos, which simply means Aphroditos in the form of a herma, and first occurs in the Characters (16) of Theophrastus. After its introduction at Athens (probably in the 5th century BCE), the importance of this deity seems to have declined. It appears no longer as the object of a special cult, but limited to the homage of certain sects, expressed by superstitious rites of obscure significance. We find in Alciphron that there was at Athens a temple of Hermaphroditus. The passage proposes that he might be considered as the deity who presided over married people; the strict union between husband and wife being aptly represented by a deity, who was male and female inseparably blended together. In Greek Anthology, at the chapter in which describe the statues in the Baths of Zeuxippus, it also mention and describe a statue of Hermaphroditus.” ref


“The earliest mention of Hermaphroditus in Greek literature is by the philosopher Theophrastus (3rd century BCE), in his book The Characters, XVI The Superstitious Man, in which he portrays various types of eccentric people. Also on the fourth and seventh days of each month he will order his servants to mull wine, and go out and buy myrtle-wreaths, frankincense, and smilax; and, on coming in, will spend the day in crowning the Hermaphrodites. The first mention of Hermes and Aphrodite as Hermaphroditus’s parents was by the Greek historian, Diodorus Siculus (1st century BCE), in his book Bibliotheca historica, book IV, 4.6.5.” ref

“Hermaphroditus, as he has been called, who was born of Hermes and Aphrodite and received a name which is a combination of those of both his parents. Some say that this Hermaphroditus is a god and appears at certain times among men, and that he is born with a physical body which is a combination of that of a man and that of a woman, in that he has a body which is beautiful and delicate like that of a woman, but has the masculine quality and vigour of a man. But there are some who declare that such creatures of two sexes are monstrosities, and coming rarely into the world as they do they have the quality of presaging the future, sometimes for evil and sometimes for good.” ref

“The only full narration of his myth is that of Ovid‘s Metamorphoses, IV.274–388 (8 AD), where the emphasis is on the feminine snares of the lascivious water-nymph Salmacis and her compromising of Hermaphroditus’ erstwhile budding manly strength, detailing his bashfulness and the engrafting of their bodies. A rendering of the story into an epyllion, published anonymously in 1602, was later (1640) attributed by some to Francis Beaumont. Ausonius in his Epigramata de diversis rebus / Epigrams on various matters (4th century), also tells of Hermaphroditus’ parentage and union with the nymph Salmacis.” ref

“On Hermaphroditus and his Nature—By Mercury begotten, conceived by Cythera, Hermaphroditus, compound alike in name and frame, combining either sex, complete in neither, neutral in love, unable to enjoy either passion. On the Union of Salmacis and Hermaphroditus—The nymph Salmacis grew one with the mate she desired. Ah, happy maid, if she is conscious of a man’s embrace. And twice happy thou, O youth, united with a lovely bride, if one being may still be two.” ref

“In the Palatine Anthology, IX.783 (980 CE), there is a reference to a sculpture of Hermaphroditus which was placed in a bath for both sexes. The passage IX.317 is in dialogue form, based on the dialogue between Hermaphroditus and Silenus. The latter claims that he has had sexual intercourse with Hermaphroditus three times. Hermaphroditus complains and objects to the fact by invoking Hermes in an oath, while Silenus invokes Pan for the reliability of his allegations. Algernon Charles Swinburne‘s poem “Hermaphroditus” in Poems and Ballads is subscribed Au Musée du Louvre, Mars 1863, leaving no doubt that it was the Borghese Hermaphroditus that had inspired his ode.” ref

Paintings and engravings

· }In Greek vase painting Hermaphroditus was depicted as a winged youth (erotes) with male and female attributes.

· Roman frescos found at Pompeii and Herculaneum show Hermaphroditus in various styles, alone and interacting with satyrs, Pan and Silenus.

· The Nymph Salmacis and Hermaphroditus by Francois-Joseph Navez, Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent

· Salmacis and Hermaphroditus by Bartholomeus Spranger, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Wien

· Salmacis and Hermaphroditus by Scarsellino, Galleria Borghese, Rome

· Salmacis and Hermaphroditus by Jean François de Troy

· Salmacis and Hermaphroditus by Ludovico Carracci

· Salmacis and Hermaphroditus by Francesco Albani

· Salmacis and Hermaphroditus by Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini

· Salmacis and Hermaphroditus by Roberto Ferri

· Salmacis and Hermaphroditus by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres

· Salmacis and Hermaphroditus by Bernard Picart

· Salmacis and Hermaphroditus by Johannes Glauber

· Salmacis and Hermaphroditus by Johann Wilhelm Baur

· Salmacis and Hermaphroditus by Virgil Solis

· Hermaphroditus and Salmacis by Louis Finson

· The Nymph of Salmacis by Rupert Bunny

· Hermaphrodite Among Roses by Aubrey Beardsley

· Hermaphrodite Figure by Jacopo Pontormo

· The metamorphosis of Hermaphrodite and Salmacis by Jan Gossaert (Jan Mabuse)

· Salmacis et Hermaphrodite by Jean Daulléref


· “The most famous sculpture of this figure is the Sleeping Hermaphroditus.

· Hermaphroditus, Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille

· A life size sculpture of Hermaphroditus from Pergamon is one of the largest found standing 186.5 cm tall at the İstanbul Archaeology Museums.

· A statue by John Henry Foley was shown at the 1851 Great Exhibition and later donated to the Bancroft Gardens, Stratford-upon-Avon where it now stands.

· A marble statue of Hermaphroditus was found near the south end of the Garden. II.2.2. Room 13, House of Loreius Tiburtinus.” ref


Intersex, in humans and other animals, describes variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals that, according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, “do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies”. Intersex people were historically termed hermaphrodites, “congenital eunuchs”, or even congenitally “frigid”. Such terms have fallen out of favor, now considered to be misleading and stigmatizing. Intersex people have been treated in different ways by different cultures. Whether or not they were socially tolerated or accepted by any particular culture, the existence of intersex people was known to many ancient and pre-modern cultures and legal systems, and numerous historical accounts exist.” ref

Intersex in Ancient history

Ancient Sumer

“A Sumerian creation myth from more than 4,000 years ago has Ninmah, a mother goddess, fashioning humanity out of clay. She boasts that she will determine the fate – good or bad – for all she fashions: Enki answered Ninmah: “I will counterbalance whatever fate – good or bad – you happen to decide. Ninmah took clay from the top of the abzu [ab: water; zu: far] in her hand and she fashioned from it first a man who could not bend his outstretched weak hands. Enki looked at the man who cannot bend his outstretched weak hands, and decreed his fate: he appointed him as a servant of the king. (Three men and one woman with atypical biology are formed and Enki gives each of them various forms of status to ensure respect for their uniqueness) …Sixth, she fashioned one with neither penis nor vagina on its body. Enki looked at the one with neither penis nor vagina on its body and gave it the name Nibru (eunuch(?)), and decreed as its fate to stand before the king.” ref

Ancient Judaism

“In traditional Jewish culture, intersex individuals were either androgynos or tumtum and took on different gender roles, sometimes conforming to men’s, sometimes to women’s.” ref

Ancient Islam

“By the eighth century CE, records of Islamic legal rulings discuss individuals known in Arabic as khuntha. This term, which has been translated as “hermaphrodite,” was used to apply to individuals with a range of intersex conditions, including mixed gonadal disgenesis, male hypospadias, partial androgen insensitivity syndrome, 5-alpha reductase deficiency, gonadal aplasia, and congenital adrenal hyperplasia.” ref

“In Islamic law, inheritance was determined based on sex, so it was sometimes necessary to attempt to determine the biological sex of sexually ambiguous heirs. The first recorded case of this sort has been attributed to the seventh-century Rashidun caliph named ‘Ali, who attempted to settle an inheritance case between five brothers in which one brother had both a male and female urinary opening. ‘Ali advised the brothers that sex could be determined by site of urination in a practice called hukm al-mabal; if urine exited the male opening, the individual was male, and if it exited the female opening, the individual was female. If it exited both openings simultaneously, as it did in this case, the heir would be given half of a male inheritance and half of a female inheritance. Later, in the thirteenth century CE, Shafi’i law expert Abu Zakariya al-Nawawi ruled that an individual whose sex could not be determined by hukm al-mabal, such as those with urination from both openings or those with no identifiable sex organs, was assigned the intermediary sex category khuntha mushkil.” ref

“Both Hanafi and Hanbali lawmakers also recognized that puberty could clarify a new dominant sex in intersex individuals who were labeled khuntha, male, or female in childhood. If a khuntha or male developed female secondary sex characteristics, performed vaginal sex, lactated, menstruated, or conceived, this person’s legal sex could change to female. Conversely, if a khuntha or female developed male secondary sex characteristics, performed penetrative sex with a woman, or had an erection, their legal sex could change to male. This understanding of the effect of puberty on intersex conditions appears in Islamic law as early as the eleventh century CE, notably by Ibn Qudama. In the sixteenth century CE, Ibrahim al-Halabi, a member of the Hanafi school of jurisprudence in Islam, directed slave owners to use special gender-neutral language when freeing intersex slaves. He recognized that language manumitting “males” or “females” would not directly apply to them.” ref

Ancient Indian Subcontinent

“The Tirumantiram Tirumular recorded the relationship between intersex people and Shiva. Ardhanarishvara, an androgynous composite form of male deity Shiva and female deity Parvati, originated in Kushan culture as far back as the first century CE. A statue depicting Ardhanarishvara is included in India’s Meenkashi Temple; this statue clearly shows both male and female bodily elements.” ref

“Due to the presence of intersex traits, Ardhanarishvara is associated with the hijra, a third sex category that has been accepted in South Asia for centuries. After interviewing and studying the hijra for many years, Serena Nanda writes in her book Neither Man Nor Woman: The Hijras of India as follows: “There is a widespread belief in India that hijras are born hermaphrodites [intersex] and are taken away by the hijra community at birth or in childhood, but I found no evidence to support this belief among the hijras I met, all of whom joined the community voluntarily, often in their teens.” ref

“According to Gilbert Herdt, the hijra differentiate between “born” and “made” individuals, or those who have physical intersex traits by birth and those who become hijra through penectomy, respectively. According to Indian tradition, the hijra perform a traditional song and dance as part of a family’s celebration of the birth of a male child; during the performance, they also inspect the newborn’s genitals to verify its sex. Herdt states that it is widely accepted that if the child is intersex, the hijra have a right to claim it as part of their community. However, Warne and Raza argue that an association between intersex and hijra people is mostly unfounded but provokes parental fear.” ref

“The hijra are mentioned in some versions of the Ramayana, a Hindu epic poem from around 300 BCE, in a myth about the hero Rama instructing his devotees to return to the city Ayodhya rather than follow him across the city’s adjacent river into banishment. Since he gives this instruction specifically to “all you men and women,” his hijra followers, being neither, remain on the banks of the river for fourteen years until Rama returns from exile. In the Tantric sect of Hinduism, there is a belief that all individuals possess both male and female components. This belief can be seen explicitly in the Tantric concept of a Supreme Being with both male and female sex organs, which constitutes “one complete sex” and the ideal physical form.” ref

Ancient Greece

“According to Leah DeVun, a “traditional Hippocratic/Galenic model of sexual difference – popularized by the late antique physician Galen and the ascendant theory for much of the Middle Ages – viewed sex as a spectrum that encompassed masculine men, feminine women, and many shades in between, including hermaphrodites, a perfect balance of male and female”. DeVun contrasts this with an Artistotelian view of intersex, which argued that “hermaphrodites were not an intermediate sex but a case of doubled or superfluous genitals”, and this later influenced Aquinas.” ref

“In the mythological tradition, Hermaphroditus was a beautiful youth who was the child of Hermes (Roman Mercury) and Aphrodite (Venus). Ovid wrote the most influential narrative of how Hermaphroditus became androgynous, emphasizing that although the handsome youth was on the cusp of sexual adulthood, he rejected love as Narcissus had, and likewise at the site of a reflective pool. There the water nymph Salmacis saw and desired him. He spurned her, and she pretended to withdraw until, thinking himself alone, he undressed to bathe in her waters. She then flung herself upon him, and prayed that they might never be parted. The gods granted this request, and thereafter the body of Hermaphroditus contained both male and female. As a result, men who drank from the waters of the spring Salmacis supposedly “grew soft with the vice of impudicitia“. The myth of Hylas, the young companion of Hercules who was abducted by water nymphs, shares with Hermaphroditus and Narcissus the theme of the dangers that face the beautiful adolescent male as he transitions to adult masculinity, with varying outcomes for each.” ref

Ancient Rome

Further information: Hermaphroditus and Aphroditus

“Pliny notes that “there are even those who are born of both sexes, whom we call hermaphrodites, at one time androgyni” (andr-, “man,” and gyn-, “woman”, from the Greek). However, the era also saw a historical account of a congenital eunuch. The Sicilian historian Diodorus (latter 1st-century BC) wrote of “hermaphroditus” in the first century BCE: Hermaphroditus, as he has been called, who was born of Hermes and Aphrodite and received a name which is a combination of those of both his parents. Some say that this Hermaphroditus is a god and appears at certain times among men, and that he is born with a physical body which is a combination of that of a man and that of a woman, in that he has a body which is beautiful and delicate like that of a woman, but has the masculine quality and vigour of man. But there are some who declare that such creatures of two sexes are monstrosities, and coming rarely into the world as they do they have the quality of presaging the future, sometimes for evil and sometimes for good.” ref

Isidore of Seville (c. 560–636) described a hermaphrodite fancifully as those who “have the right breast of a man and the left of a woman, and after coitus in turn can both sire and bear children.” Under Roman law, as many others, a hermaphrodite had to be classed as either male or female. Will Roscoe writes that the hermaphrodite represented a “violation of social boundaries, especially those as fundamental to daily life as male and female.” ref

“In traditional Roman religion, a hermaphroditic birth was a kind of prodigium, an occurrence that signalled a disturbance of the pax deorum, Rome’s treaty with the gods. But Pliny observed that while hermaphrodites were once considered portents, in his day they had become objects of delight (deliciae) who were trafficked in an exclusive slave market. According to historian John R. Clarke, depictions of Hermaphroditus were very popular among the Romans: Artistic representations of Hermaphroditus bring to the fore the ambiguities in sexual differences between women and men as well as the ambiguities in all sexual acts. … (A)rtists always treat Hermaphroditus in terms of the viewer finding out his/her actual sexual identity.” ref

“Hermaphroditus is a highly sophisticated representation, invading the boundaries between the sexes that seem so clear in classical thought and representation. In c.400, Augustine wrote in The Literal Meaning of Genesis that humans were created in two sexes, despite “as happens in some births, in the case of what we call androgynes”. Historical accounts of intersex people include the sophist and philosopher Favorinus, described as a eunuch (εὐνοῦχος) by birth. Mason and others thus describe Favorinus as having an intersex trait.” ref

“A broad sense of the term “eunuch” is reflected in the compendium of ancient Roman laws collected by Justinian I in the 6th century known as the Digest or Pandects. Those texts distinguish between the general category of eunuchs (spadones, denoting “one who has no generative power, an impotent person, whether by nature or by castration”, D 50.16.128) and the more specific subset of castrati (castrated males, physically incapable of procreation). Eunuchs (spadones) sold in the slave markets were deemed by the jurist Ulpian to be “not defective or diseased, but healthy”, because they were anatomically able to procreate just like monorchids (D On the other hand, as Julius Paulus pointed out, “if someone is a eunuch in such a way that he is missing a necessary part of his body” (D 21.1.7), then he would be deemed diseased. In these Roman legal texts, spadones (eunuchs) are eligible to marry women (D, institute posthumous heirs (D 28.2.6), and adopt children (Institutions of Justinian 1.11.9), unless they are castrati.” ref

Middle Ages

“In Abnormal (Les anormaux), Michel Foucault suggested it is likely that, “from the Middle Ages to the sixteenth century … hermaphrodites were considered to be monsters and were executed, burnt at the stake and their ashes thrown to the winds.” However, Christof Rolker disputes this, arguing that “Contrary to what has been claimed, there is no evidence for hermaphrodites being persecuted in the Middle Ages, and the learned laws did certainly not provide any basis for such persecution”. Canon Law sources provide evidence of alternative perspectives, based upon prevailing visual indications and the performance of gendered roles. The 12th-century Decretum Gratiani states that “Whether an hermaphrodite may witness a testament, depends on which sex prevails” (“Hermafroditus an ad testamentum adhiberi possit, qualitas sexus incalescentis ostendit.”).” ref

“In the late twelfth century, the canon lawyer Huguccio stated that, “If someone has a beard, and always wishes to act like a man (excercere virilia) and not like a female, and always wishes to keep company with men and not with women, it is a sign that the male sex prevails in him and then he is able to be a witness, where a woman is not allowed”. Concerning the ordination of ‘hermaphrodites’, Huguccio concluded: “If therefore the person is drawn to the feminine more than the male, the person does not receive the order. If the reverse, the person is able to receive but ought not to be ordained on account of deformity and monstrosity.” ref

Henry de Bracton‘s De Legibus et Consuetudinibus Angliae (“On the Laws and Customs of England”), c. 1235, classifies mankind as “male, female, or hermaphrodite”, and “A hermaphrodite is classed with male or female according to the predominance of the sexual organs.” The thirteenth-century canon lawyer Henry of Segusio argued that a “perfect hermaphrodite” where no sex prevailed should choose their legal gender under oath.” ref

Early modern period

“The 17th-century English jurist and judge Edward Coke (Lord Coke), wrote in his Institutes of the Lawes of England on laws of succession stating, “Every heire is either a male, a female, or an hermaphrodite, that is both male and female. And an hermaphrodite (which is also called Androgynus) shall be heire, either as male or female, according to that kind of sexe which doth prevaile.” The Institutes are widely held to be a foundation of common law. A few historical accounts of intersex people exist due primarily to the discovery of relevant legal records, including those of Thomas(ine) Hall (17th-century United States), Eleno de Céspedes, a 16th-century intersex person in Spain (in Spanish), and Fernanda Fernández (18th-century Spain). In 2019 the Smithsonian Channel aired a documentary “American’s Hidden Stories: The General was Female?” with evidence that Casimir Pulaski, the important American Revolutionary War hero, may have been intersex.” ref

“In a court case, heard at the Castellania in 1774 during the Order of St. John in Malta, 17-year-old Rosa Mifsud from Luqa, later described in the British Medical Journal as a pseudo-hermaphrodite, petitioned for a change in sex classification from female. Two clinicians were appointed by the court to perform an examination. They found that “the male sex is the dominant one”. The examiners were the Physician-in-Chief and a senior surgeon, both working at the Sacra Infermeria. The Grandmaster himself who took the final decision for Mifsud to wear only men clothes from then on. Maria Dorothea Derrier/Karl Dürrge was a German intersex person who made their living for 30 years as a human research subject. Born in Potsdam in 1780, and designated as female at birth, they assumed a male identity around 1807. Traveling intersex persons, like Derrier and Katharina/Karl Hohmann, who allowed themselves to be examined by physicians were instrumental in the development of codified standards for sexing.” ref

“During the Victorian era, medical authors introduced the terms “true hermaphrodite” for an individual who has both ovarian and testicular tissue, verified under a microscope, “male pseudo-hermaphrodite” for a person with testicular tissue, but either female or ambiguous sexual anatomy, and “female pseudo-hermaphrodite” for a person with ovarian tissue, but either male or ambiguous sexual anatomy. Historical accounts including those of Vietnamese general Lê Văn Duyệt (18th/19th-century) who helped to unify Vietnam; Gottlieb Göttlich, a 19th-century German traveling medical case; and Levi Suydam, an intersex person in 19th-century USA whose capacity to vote in male-only elections was questioned. The memoirs of 19th-century intersex Frenchwoman Herculine Barbin were published by Michel Foucault in 1980. Her birthday is marked in Intersex Day of Remembrance on 8 November.” ref

Contemporary period

Further information: History of intersex surgery and Intersex human rights

“The term intersexuality was coined by Richard Goldschmidt in the 1917 paper Intersexuality and the endocrine aspect of sex. The first suggestion to replace the term ‘hermaphrodite’ with ‘intersex’ came from British specialist Cawadias in the 1940s. This suggestion was taken up by specialists in the UK during the 1960s. Historical accounts from the early twentieth century include that of Australian Florrie Cox, whose marriage was annulled due to “malformation frigidity”.” ref

“Since the rise of modern medical science in Western societies, some intersex people with ambiguous external genitalia have had their genitalia surgically modified to resemble either female or male genitals. Surgeons pinpointed intersex babies as a “social emergency” once they were born. The parents of the intersex babies were not content about the situation. Psychologists, sexologists, and researchers frequently still believe that it is better for a baby’s genitalia to be changed when they were younger than when they were a mature adult.” ref

“These scientists believe that early intervention helped avoid gender identity confusion. This was called the ‘Optimal Gender Policy’, and it was initially developed in the 1950s by John Money. Money and others controversially believed that children were more likely to develop a gender identity that matched sex of rearing than might be determined by chromosomes, gonads, or hormones. The primary goal of assignment was to choose the sex that would lead to the least inconsistency between external anatomy and assigned psyche (gender identity).” ref

“Since advances in surgery have made it possible for intersex conditions to be concealed, many people are not aware of how frequently intersex conditions arise in human beings or that they occur at all. Dialog between what were once antagonistic groups of activists and clinicians has led to only slight changes in medical policies and how intersex patients and their families are treated in some locations. Numerous civil society organizations and human rights institutions now call for an end to unnecessary “normalizing” interventions.” ref

“The first public demonstration by intersex people took place in Boston on October 26, 1996, outside the venue in Boston where the American Academy of Pediatrics was holding its annual conference. The group demonstrated against “normalizing” treatments, and carried a sign saying “Hermaphrodites With Attitude”. The event is now commemorated by Intersex Awareness Day. In 2011, Christiane Völling became the first intersex person known to have successfully sued for damages in a case brought for non-consensual surgical intervention. In April 2015, Malta became the first country to outlaw non-consensual medical interventions to modify sex anatomy, including that of intersex people.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Contextualizing the Female Image –

Symbols for Common Ideas and Communal Identity in Upper Palaeolithic Societies

“Following the discovery of the first Palaeolithic “Venus” figurines it became apparent that hominins had been reflecting on their identity and their place in the universe at least since the beginning of the Upper Palaeolithic. This existentialist and potentially spiritual discourse not only attracted the scientific interest of both archaeologists and art historians but has also fascinated the wider public. Since these first discoveries, the specific function and the potential messages of this type of artwork have been the subject of ongoing discussion. The design of the frequently occurring female depictions known from Upper Palaeolithic Eurasia underwent a significant change through time. It is especially apparent when comparing the Mid-Upper Palaeolithic “Willendorf-style” figurines with the schematic images of the “Gönnersdorf-type” found in Late Magdalenian and younger contexts. We consider here female images in their stylistic, spatial, and temporal contexts. We conclude that the schematic style of the latest Upper Palaeolithic female depictions is of symbolic character and represents an artistic reflection of changes in the social role of women during a period of rapid range expansion of Late Glacial populations.” ref

“Past hominin symbolic behavior is manifest in various media. One of these is fossilized in the archaeological material record, specifically in what we today interpret as art, an integral activity and reflection of the Zeitgeist of a society at any given time. Art can build a bridge between material and non-material culture, and often serves as a medium for communicating specific worldviews or cosmologies. As a result, early art, when contextualized against particular frames of reference, should allow us to reflect on the self-perception of past societies.” ref

“With the beginning of the European Upper Palaeolithic, a growth in the visibility of artistic expression can be clearly seen in the realms of both parietal and portable art. Within the broad range of Palaeolithic art, a large body of anthropomorphic as well as explicit human depictions exists, much of which (to our eyes) depicts females. Paleolithic female figurines have been known since 1864 when the Vénus impudique (‘immodest Venus’) was discovered at Laugerie Basse in France. Further discoveries followed, for example, several female ivory figurines from the Grotte du Pape at Brassempouy, France, and numerous small figurines of stone, ivory, and antler found in the caves of Balzi Rossi in Italy.” ref

“But it was not before 1908, when the famous Venus of Willendorf (Austria) was discovered by Josef Szombathy, Hugo Obermaier, and Josef Bayer, that Palaeolithic female depictions and their interpretation significantly changed our perception of Palaeolithic humans. Since this time, ‘female’ figurines have not only fascinated the scientific community but also the wider public. By choosing the term “Venus” to describe several of these early discoveries a reference with female nudes in classical art was established, wrenching the Palaeolithic art objects from their original cosmologic contexts. Henceforth the term “Venus” has been used as an umbrella for Pleistocene anthropomorphic female depictions, and by using this term the entire body of associations that accompany the interpretation of classical art is implied.” ref

“Surprisingly, this approach has only rarely been challenged, as it was implicitly assumed that past and present human depictions shared similar motivations. Thus, classically-derived models for understanding female depictions were seen to be sufficient for understanding those of the Palaeolithic. As a result our interpretations today often still refer to generalizing stereotypes instead of presenting analyses of individual female depictions. Given this, we virtually lack any sound interpretation on the motivation of their production and their context in society.” ref

“Reachers seek here to fill this gap, following the article on “Interaction and Alliance in Palaeolithic Society” in which he established a connection between stylistic conventions in Mid-Upper Palaeolithic artistic depictions and social alliance networks in Pleistocene environments. There should be consideration of the Palaeolithic female images in their stylistic, spatial, and temporal contexts, comparing the early Mid-Upper Palaeolithic Gravettian and the Late Upper Palaeolithic record. In comparison with Mid-Upper Palaeolithic female depictions, we conclude that the schematic style that characterizes Late Magdalenian female depictions represents an artistic reflection of changes in the social role of women during a period of rapid range expansion of Late Glacial populations some 16,000-13,000 years ago.” ref

Upper Palaeolithic human depictions

“Among the large corpus of human representations in Upper Palaeolithic art, males are remarkably rare, whereas female-like depictions are among the most common subjects in Palaeolithic art. Their depictions occur in various media, e.g. painted on the walls of caves, engraved in stone, sculptured as bas-reliefs or in the form of stone, bone, or ivory statuettes. Human depictions of doubtless female sex occur most frequently in the Eurasian Mid-Upper and Late Upper Palaeolithic. By contrast, most anthropomorphic depictions from the Early Upper Palaeolithic or from Solutrean / Early Magdalenian contexts are not clearly attributable to sex.” ref

“With the exception of the Venus of Hohle Fels (Germany) anthropomorphic illustrations of the Early Upper Palaeolithic Aurignacian seem to show humans independent of sex. This is illustrated by the so-called Adorant (‘worshipper’) ivory figurine found in the Aurignacian context of AH II of the Geißenklösterle cave (Germany) and the anthropomorphic paintings of the Grotta di Fumane (Italy) which are of comparable age. In addition to these a small stone figurine found at the Aurignacian open-air site of Stratzing (Krems-Rehberg) in Lower Austria could be interpreted along the same lines.” ref

“Sex was, however, a frequently displayed topic in this period, as deeply engraved or picked vulvae attributed to Leroi-Gourhan’s “style I+II” from Abris Cellier, La Ferrassie and Castanet (France) amply illustrate. Additionally, the convention of communicating gender or sexuality through illustrations of disembodied vulvae or phalli appears from time to time throughout most of the Upper Palaeolithic. Only a few anthropomorphic depictions are known from late Mid-Upper Palaeolithic, Solutrean or early Late Upper Palaeolithic contexts in southwestern Europe, i.e. ∼25,000–19,000 cal BP.” ref

“These include the “wounded” or speared ‘humanoids’ known, for example, in Cougnac, Pech-Merle, and a few other caves in France. In addition to these highly abstract tectiform “signs” from Cougnac and Le Placard have often been interpreted as stylized representations of females. Finally, it is debatable whether the ‘bird-like’ or phalliform figurines known from the Eastern European Late Upper Palaeolithic sites of Mezin and Mezhirich (Ukraine), genuinely represent humans, even though many authors have suggested as much.” ref

Upper Palaeolithic female depictions

“During three specific periods of the Palaeolithic one can observe a strong focus on the depiction of females: the Mid-Upper Palaeolithic (Gravettian sensu lato) of Eurasia, the Late Upper Palaeolithic (Middle Magdalenian) of Western Europe and its Eastern European equivalents, and the Late Magdalenian and succeeding Curve-Backed Point (CBP) industries of Western and Central Europe. Distinct stylistic conventions underlying the depictions of these periods are obvious and allow one at least to distinguish between an older Willendorf-like style and that of the much younger Late Magdalenian / CBP “Gönnersdorf-type”.” ref

“Now an attempt to briefly characterize the design principles or stylistic conventions that underlay each of these different modes of female depictions. To do so we briefly review the corpus of evidence of Upper Palaeolithic female representations. Given the rich corpus of female illustrations, we focus on the most obvious trends and patterns and overall stylistic characters, distinguishing common features or attributes, referencing both stylistic principles against their spatial-temporal contexts.” ref

The “Willendorf-style”

“The Mid-Upper Palaeolithic corpus of female depictions is characterized by mostly corpulent female figurines that often display pronounced and sometimes exaggerated sexual attributes. Aside from a few highly-schematic statuettes Willendorf-style figurines are striking in their naturalism and display female nakedness in all its splendor. Large breasts, wide hips, protruding bellies and buttocks, and bluntly visible genitals, i.e. the female body, are shown in high morphological as well as some regional variation but overall one can find almost all these traits. The ‘naturalism’ that characterizes these figurines results in a high level of ‘standardization’, epitomized by the famous Venus of Willendorf found in 1908 in a loess pit in Lower Austria which has often been regarded as the archetype of this particular iconographic style (cf. Bosinski 1987). Thus, many similar Mid-Upper Palaeolithic female depictions have been attributed to this “Willendorf-style”.” ref

“Most of the Willendorf-style depictions are carved in stone or ivory as three-dimensional objects, and can vary considerably in size from a few centimeters to over 20 cm in height. Only rarely was bone or antler used as raw-material. As three-dimensional sculptures, they function in all perspectives, although their frontal view usually appears most prominent. At Laussel, Abri Pataud, La Mouthe, and Termo-Pialat, Willendorf-style bas-reliefs were also carved onto stone blocks spalled from roofs, and it may be significant that comparable representations are unknown in parietal art, although a small number of engraved Willendorf-style depictions are known, e.g. one from Kostenki 1-I and the geometrically schematized female engraving from Předmostí.” ref

“Willendorf-style depictions almost exclusively occur as singular (i.e. isolated) figurines. With the exception of a statuette named The Beauty and the Beast from Balzi Rossi and the bas-relief Personages Opposés from Laussel , couples or groups of persons are not depicted in Mid-Upper Palaeolithic contexts. However, the double statuette no. 6 from Gagarino that shows two half-complete females still attached at their heads gives intriguing evidence that at least some of the figurines were manufactured in series. Together with the fact that some Gravettian sites such as the eastern sites of Kostenki 1-I, Avdeevo, Gagarino, or Mal’ta have produced series of rather similar figurines, this Formaterat: Färgöverstrykning Formaterat: Färgöverstrykning evidence may suggest that some figurines at least on occasion functioned in groups.” ref

“At Avdeevo, for example, almost all figurines were found in pits among which some contained two or even three figurines (see Pettitt 2006). With few exceptions (Venus of Monpazier, Kostenki 1-I: statuette no. 3) Willendorf-style depictions depict only rudimentary feet. Where lower legs have been preserved the base of the figurines can vary considerably, and may be conical (pointed), peg-shaped, or even flat. Some were clearly prepared for suspension, either with a hole between the lower legs or in the area of the chest/neck. When arms and hands appear they often rest on breasts or bellies or arms are hidden behind the figures’ back. Heads are often melon-shaped or round and often bend downwards. Individual ornamentation on top of the head is usually interpreted as representing braided hairstyles, caps, and headdresses, although in many cases the heads are missing and it is debatable whether or not this is due to intentional destruction.” ref

“In some cases, the figurines appear to wear clothes, such as several examples from Mal’ta and Bur’et. Some wear pieces comparable to capes (Balzi Rossi: The Nun), loincloths (Lespugne), shrouds, or veils (Brassempouy: Dame à la Capuche), belts (Kostenki 1-I: statuette no. 3), or bras (Kostenki 1-I: statuette no. 83-2). In addition to this jewelry such as necklaces and bracelets is sometimes given (Kostenki 1-I: statuette no. 2), and at Laussel at least two of the females are depicted carry drinking horns or bugles. Most studies of Willendorf-style female figurines published to date assume that the figurines portray female individuals although they mostly lack individual faces or facial detail.” ref

“It seems that females of various age classes are depicted, in some cases probably pregnant (e.g. Gimbutas 1989). Individualized ornamentation of heads and other highly individual attributes (e.g. jewelry) add intriguing detail to these figurines emphasizing their individuality. In a few cases, however, faces are given in great detail, such as Brassempouy (Dame à la Capuche), Balzi Rossi (The Negroid Head), Dolní Vestonice (Venus XV), and Avdeevo (statuette no. 77-1), allowing us to assume that at least some figurines portrayed particular (‘real’ or imaginary) individuals. The earliest figurine of the Willendorf-style derives from the southern German site Hohle Fels and dates to the end of the Aurignacien. By the Mid-Upper Palaeolithic (Gravettian) it is spread over large parts of Eurasia as far east as Mal’ta and Bur’et in the Baikal region of Siberia.” ref

“Some of the basic stylistic elements that characterize the Willendorf-style female figurines, particularly their overall posture, re-occur in the much younger headless statuettes from Eliseevichi in Ukraine, the Mid-Magdalenian of Laugerie Basse, and in the impressive, more or less life-sized Middle Magdalenian bas-reliefs of Angles-sur-l’Anglin, France. They are also well-represented in the engraved art of other Middle Magdalenian sites such as Isturitz (the Poursuite Amoureuse), Laugerie-Basse (Femme au Renne), and Gabillou, where females are depicted laying on the ground or crawling. Most impressive, however, in terms of their naturalism are the numerous engravings of La Marche. Here, corpulent women, often with large breasts, are depicted in great detail wearing clothes and jewelry. Facial expressions, hairstyle, and additional attributes such as bandeaux make it obvious that one is confronted with individuals.” ref

The “Gönnersdorf-type”

“Schematic and standardized female depictions are also highly characteristic of the Late Magdalenian and CBP contexts. These resemble somewhat a saggital section through the female body with a strong emphasis on pronounced buttocks, only occasionally showing breasts, and generally lacking the head and feet (feet are only drawn on Gönnersdorf figure no 73.2). After the well-known German site of Gönnersdorf, where more than 400 engravings and sculptured figurines of ivory and schist have been documented, this iconographic convention has been defined as the “Gönnersdorf-type”. By contrast to the Willendorf style females the Gönnersdorf-type lacks any kind of obvious individual traits and instead seem to refer to a generic and abbreviated female concept.” ref

“Gönnerdorf-type female depictions are known in parietal and portable media. They occur as engravings and sculptures, on ivory, antler, and bone or various types of stone as well as on cave walls. The Gönnersdorf-type figurines are very often highly abstracted and only identifiable as female anthropomorphs when compared to more detailed engravings of less ambiguous nature. Even though figurines exist, they only function in profile, as two-dimensional objects and are not identifiable in other profiles. Given this principle and the two-dimensional character of the engravings, individual engravings, e.g. from Lalinde, show an additional line through the lower part of the body indicating a perspective view of the figure (Delporte 1993a). It is usually possible to distinguish between arms and breasts, and is only difficult when these are indicated by a few lines only. Breasts can be distinguished by their round form, contrasting with the longitudinal lines which most often denote the arms.” ref

“Only engraved specimens display more details such as (slightly) outstretched arms and fingers. “Only in very rare cases such as Gönnersdorf plaquette no. 87 or in the case of a large ivory sculpture from Andernach-Martinsberg, is the torso decorated with simple geometric design that may be indicative of clothing. Stylistically this design resembles ornaments typical for the ‘bird-like’ and presumably female figurines from Mezin and Mezhirich, which are of similar or slightly older age. Scenic compositions are restricted to engravings on cave walls, rocks, or plaquettes. In most of these cases, one encounters two figures in tandem or facing each other. More than four figures in a line are only rarely shown (e.g. Hohlenstein, Ederheim, Germany).” ref

“It is particularly striking that in such scenic depictions, the related figures share stylistic elements such as size and shape, as well as additional details such as the presence of arms and/or breasts. Rows of up to seventeen figures have been recorded. Also, there exist groups of figures irregularily arranged on large plaquettes. Differences occur as to how the female illustrations were made. Whereas several of the scenic compositions are rather deeply incised, single individuals are often indicated by thin lines only. Female depictions that follow the highly schematized “Gönnersdorf-type” are known from Late Magdalenian/CBP contexts of Central and Western Europe.” ref

“Willendorf-style” vs. “Gönnersdorf-type”

“Obvious differences occur when comparing the two stylistic groups of female depictions considered here. The most obvious of these relates to the basic principles with which the females are depicted: The Willendorf-style can be described in terms of an “exaggerated naturalism”, whereas the Gönnersdorf-type is characterized by the schematic reduction of the female profile to an ‘abbreviated’, relatively standardized form or symbol. Differences also occur as to which parts of the female body are shown or emphasized. In the Willendorf-style females often display genitals, which may even be exaggerated, as is the case with those of Monpazier and Moravany-Podovica or The Hermaphrodite from Balzi Rossi (Delporte 1993a). Due to their presentation in profile, however, such depiction is not possible on the Gönnersdorf-type, which are therefore restricted to the depiction of secondary sexual organs, and on which it was not an intention to complete the female image by adding either heads or feet.” ref

“This reduction stands in stark contrast to Willendorf-style representations, where head, faces, and sometimes feet formed integral parts of the image. On these the head was of special importance, occasionally emphasized by the often detailed depiction of faces and/or hair styles. This emphasis becomes obvious when considering the famous “Black Venus” (Venus I) of Dolní Vestonice which possesses three holes on top of its head which probably functioned to receive some kind of applied feathers. Another fragmentary head from the same site displays four such holes and in this sense copies the head of the “Black Venus”.” ref

“Jewelry is of additional importance in Mid-Upper Palaeolithic Willendorf-style figurines. By contrast with the detailed manner in which head decoration or jewelry are portrayed, ‘clothing’ never disguises the body completely, but in its form of veils and belts, actually emphasizes the figures’ nakedness. Clothing or body decoration do not belong to the canon of Gönnersdorf-type females. Only in very rare cases are the depictions decorated with geometric design, which might be interpreted as clothing.” ref

“In this one case, however, clothing seems to have been used to disguise the entire female body, not to emphasize its nakedness, a clear contrast with the Willendorf-style figurines. It can generally be emphasized that the production of Willendorf-style figurines followed a complex chaîne opératoire. The numerous details which characterize these figurines are the result of a time-consuming strategy of repeated carving and constant refinement throughout the production process. This is well illustrated in added three-dimensional details such as accentuated jewelry. Care was required during the entire production process to avoid damage, especially in the highly fragile neck region.” ref

“By contrast, the simple form of the Gönnersdorf-type figurines ensured quick and easy manufacture, as is amply illustrated by numerous experimental reproductions of these figurines. By far more numerous than sculptures, however, are engraved Gönnersdorf-type depictions. They can be drawn easily and quickly, as is also evident from experiments. Many scenic representations, however, are deeply engraved and thus document a higher investment of time. These deep engravings result from repeated carving activity comparable to the production of bas-reliefs.” ref

“One may therefore conclude that Mid-Upper Palaeolithic Willendorf-style depictions were produced in a technically far more skilled and time-demanding manner. They often document a great care for detail as regards the carving of heads and faces, hairstyles and jewelry, and/or clothing, which were rendered in a quasi-naturalistic way. By contrast, Gönnersdorf-type depictions lack all of these characteristics. Female depictions in context It is not only stylistic differences between the Willendorf-style and Gönnersdorf-type depictions that are obvious, but also differences referring to their archaeological contexts.” ref

“One difference concerns their artistic context: Gönnersdorf-type engravings are frequently arranged in scenes, with two or more females aligned with or opposed to each other. These and other “arrangements” of several stereotype depictions of females known, for example, from Gönnersdorf or Lalinde have repeatedly been interpreted as scenes of dancing women. Comparable depictions that seem to illustrate such social interaction between females are not known from the Mid-Upper Palaeolithic. Two rather atypical examples, however, represent an exception to this apparent rule, although in both cases it seems rather unlikely that female interaction is depicted, as in both examples male-female scenic arrangements have been suggested.” ref

“A further difference refers to the spatial context of the depictions. It must be outlined that throughout the Upper Palaeolithic female depictions can predominantly be found in domestic settings. In Mid-Upper Palaeolithic Central and Eastern Europe they were located in or nearby hearths, pits, activity areas, or in dwellings. The Magdalenian sites of Gönnersdorf and Andernach serve as excellent examples to illustrate the general spatial context of Late Magdalenian female depictions in open air sites. Both sites are characterized by a tremendous wealth of schist plaquettes, each of which can weigh up to 50 kg.” ref

“The plaquettes form particular spatial concentrations, most of which have been interpreted as marking the position of dwellings or other structures. These concentrations represent high traffic areas within which particular activity zones can be distinguished. A remarkable amount of plaquettes is engraved, depicting both animals and females. Analysis of the spatial organization at these sites shows that plaquettes with pictures of animals can be found throughout the site. Illustrations of particular species, however, such as mammoth and birds, are exclusive to particular concentrations, while female engravings occur in all concentrations, except for the northernmost.” ref

“One major difference between the Mid-Upper Palaeolithic and Late Magdalenian female depictions, however, concerns their appearance in parietal art. Depictions of the Willendorf-type can be found in rock shelters as bas-reliefs or sculptured on rocks detached from shelter roofs, but they do not appear in the art of deep caves. Gönnersdorf-type illustrations are found widely and do appear even deep in caves. It seems, furthermore, to be clear that female depictions are never directly associated with burials in the archaeological record.” ref

“However, the many similarities in site context and design between Mid-Upper Palaeolithic burial and female figurines emphasize a certain interconnection of the two. However, only for the site of Dolní Vestonice it has been suggested that the famous sculptured head with a distorted face (albeit of unclear sex) found not far from a female burial, may indeed portray the person buried. The large ivory sculpture found within the context of the Mid-Upper Palaeolithic Pavlovian male ‘ritual deposit’ at Brno II is, however, of clear male sex.” ref

“Further differences between the artistic contexts of the two styles can be observed. The Willendorf-style clearly relates to the contemporaneous depictions of animals which were usually given in a more or less static manner and with relatively massive bodies and comparably short or reduced extremities (“style I”). By contrast, a remarkable dichotomy between animal and human depictions characterizes the Late Magdalenian. Here, animals are regularly shown as individuals in a hyper-naturalistic and often extremely dynamic manner, while the female representations appear highly schematized. Again, the engravings from Gönnersdorf illustrate this dichotomy excellently.” ref

“In addition, in the Mid-Upper Palaeolithic, but also in the early Late Upper Palaeolithic (Middle Magdalenian) one regularly encounters depictions of males, albeit far less frequently than females. Male representations are known from e.g. Brno and Laussel; a relatively large ivory head from Dolní Vestonice probably also depicts a male. Several male depictions belonging to the Middle Magdalenian are known from French sites such as Isturitz and La Marche.” ref

“At the latter site stylistic differences between the depictions of males and females cannot be identified. Males and females are both rendered in a naturalistic style, often with individual faces, and very closely resembling Willendorf-style depictions. A few scenic illustrations of males and females also occur during this period, amongst which the possible copulation scene of the Grande Plaquette from Enlène, France, is the clearest example. During the Late Magdalenian, apart from females, some anthropomorphic engravings are known from sites as Abri Raymonden near Chancelade or from the Abri du Châteaux at Les Eyzies. ” ref

“Slender bodies with faceless heads are shown in a frontal or back view, and it is obvious that these depictions are entirely different from the profile view which is otherwise so characteristic of Late Magdalenian/CBP female depictions. Most of the anthropomorphs from Raymonden and at least a few of the group of anthropomorphs to be seen on the Les Eyzies engraving seem to carry weapons and are interpreted as depicting males (e.g. Guthrie 2005). Late Magdalenian depictions that show anthropomorphs in a similar style are known, for example, from La Vache and Gourdan in France (Duhard 1996). Scenic depictions that show males and females are absent in the Late Magdalenian.” ref


“For the general interpretation of Palaeolithic female depictions several interpretative schemes have been forwarded. Female depictions have been repeatedly interpreted as expressions of an underlying ritual system (goddesses), of sexuality (fertility symbols) or as expressions of the social role of women in Upper Palaeolithic societies.” ref

“Only rarely have they been interpreted in terms of portraits of individual females. As most of these are forwarded on the basis of the analysis of particular depictions within their specific artistic contexts, however, one cannot identify a prevalent or more likely interpretation. We argue that the major differences between Willendorf-style and Gönnersdorf-type depictions permit a straightforward interpretation at least for the Gönnersdorf-type depictions, given that they are studied in diachronic perspective and with reference to their cultural contexts. We will argue here that Gönnersdorf-type depictions must be considered as symbols for the social role of women in the Late Magdalenian.” ref

Arguments are as follows:

The schematic character of the Gönnersdorf depictions lacks any personal traits which would allow us to identify depictions as individuals.

Gönnersdorf-type iconography is essentially restricted to the female torso.

“Thus, female sexuality or corporality is clearly not the main information intended to be transmitted through these depictions. Due to the fact that none of them display primary sexual organs (in contrast to the Willendorf-style figurines that sometimes do) we refute the interpretation that female sexuality should be a major issue here. By contrast, during the Late Magdalenian numerous carvings of vulvae and phalli in parietal art, as well as engraved pebbles that represent phalli emphasise the topic of sexuality very explicitly.” ref

“It has repeatedly been emphasized that Gönnersdorf-type figurines and depictions are quick and easy to produce. Their remarkable degree of standardization points to their highly symbolic character. Symbols are generally meant to convey a complex message quickly in a way that everyone can easily understand. Given that individuals were not depicted in and sexuality was not a key-concern of the depictions, it seems highly plausible that the social sphere of females in the late Magdalenian was encoded in these symbols.” ref

“In order to decipher this social sphere more closely, the context in which these symbols appear is of relevance. In the engraved art, it appears that female figures are often shown in couples or groups of several females. At the Late Magdalenian site of Gönnersdorf, many of the individual depictions were repetitively – and thus deeply – engraved. The process of repetitively going over the same engraving increases its visibility that finally makes the illustration appear almost as a bas-relief. The process of retracing a symbol over and over again is a process of emphasis which could be interpreted as the sequential equivalent of a grouping or alignment of several individual symbols.” ref

“If one further considers the scenic depictions in more detail, additional aspects can be pointed out. Although the iconographic program of the Gönnersdorf-type depictions is characterized by their extreme schematization and reduction, some figures additionally display arms, hands, and fingers. Arms are generally forwardly bent and often form a connection to the figure in front. These depictions have repeatedly been interpreted in terms of women dancing – they can at least be interpreted in terms of the depiction of movement. Consequently, even depictions of single females possessing arms and even deeply engraved single females may be understood as females that are members of a group.” ref

“From this perspective, it might be argued that the bonding of females in physical and/or spiritual groups, probably as an integral expression of the “female sphere”, was an important principle component of Late Magdalenian society. This “female sphere” might express in direct or metaphorical form a communal identity during this period. The homogeneous design of individual symbols in scenic depictions probably emphasizes the idea of a communal identity, which could be communicated over large distances across Europe.” ref

“As pregnancy seems not to have been an issue addressed in Late Magdalenian female depictions, it, therefore, seems likely that female fertility and motherhood were not primary issues in the definition of the Late Magdalenian “female sphere”. In the Late Magdalenian depictions of men occur only rarely. Males almost exclusively appear in groups with other males, such as in the engravings from Raymonden, Les Eyzies, La Vache, and Gourdan in France. They appear as silhouettes, often equipped with spears, in concrete situations related to outdoor activities such as hunting or chasing. The explicit clarity of the group activities depicted clearly contrasts with the coded information provided by the female symbols. Following the line of interpretation given above, it seems that even though groups of men are present in Late Magdalenian art, this was not a common theme or one that carried coded meaning.” ref

“This is underlined by the virtual absence of scenic depictions of males and females in the Late Magdalenian, in contrast to some Middle Magdalenian examples (the Grande Plaquette from Enlène and the Poursuite Amoureuse from Isturitz). As the female group symbol codes the “female sphere” implicitly, the males are depicted un-coded in explicit group activities. Both modes of depiction follow different informational contents that exclude each other. It is debatable whether these examples can be interpreted as a strict separation of male and female spheres in Late Magdalenian/CBP societies and whether such a separation was of any consequence for the organization of every day life routines and/or of its spiritual superstructure. For the Willendorf-style, a different interpretation seems plausible. If one follows the line of arguments employed for the interpretation of the Gönnersdorf-type depictions, a series of differences becomes apparent.” ref

“The overt nakedness of the Willendorf-style figurines, highlighting all facets of the female body is most striking. Many depictions additionally wear garments and jewelry, additional items which serve to emphasize the individualization of particular figurines, and posture and clothing are used to emphasize the figurines’ primary and secondary sexual attributes. This is very obvious in the Lespugue figurine, which wears a loincloth that emphasizes the woman’s buttocks, or by the many figurines whose arms are shown resting on or under the figures’ breasts, emphasizing their fullness. It seems that pre-sexually mature women were not depicted; only mature women of different ages are shown. Female sexuality, fertility or motherhood seem also not to have been key themes in the Mid-Upper Palaeolithic iconographic program.” ref

“These notions lead us to conclude that the main information conveyed by Willendorf-style depictions simply concerns female nakedness. This leads us to the interpretation that female nakedness was used as a means of emphasizing the individuality of the figurine. Thus, it is likely that the females that were portrayed here were individuals, an interpretation underlined by the fact that Willendorf-style figurines are occasionally depicted with individual facial traits with the head as an important part of the figure serving individualization. This is emphasized further by the many particular elaborate hairstyles known on these figurines (Fig. 6) as well as holes suggesting of the application of head gear.” ref

“Given all these details and the large degree of variation observed between individual figurines, claims for standardization of the figurines that have been repeatedly forwarded, should be rejected. Simply looking at Kostenki or Mal’ta, where numerous figurines have been found at each individual site, the high variability of these figurines becomes obvious. Our interpretation focuses on the notion that individuals as carriers of social functions – individual social agents – are revealed by the Willendorf-style figurines. This leads us to conclude that the basic idea expressed in these figurines concerns the concept of individual females as carriers of a common idea. As individuals, they may have served as personified symbols of this common idea.” ref

“As is known from more recent periods in art history it is clear that – besides other factors that influence styles of representation – the social role of a human being in its specific social context is one of the major aspects that determines the way in which humans are depicted (cf. Conkey 1978). Following our interpretation, it is clear that humans – and in this case women – were depicted in different ways during the Mid-Upper Palaeolithic and Mid-Magdalenian on the one and in Late Magdalenian/CBP contexts on the other. Whereas the Willendorf-style represents an individual coveying a common idea, the Gönnersdorf-type can be interpreted to reflect a common idea carried by a symbol. Do these iconographic differences, however, reflect changes in the social organization of Upper Palaeolithic societies? A reference to the environmental context of the specific periods discussed might help us answer this question.” ref

“During the Mid-Upper Palaeolithic, glaciers and their concomitant periglacial frontiers grew, and populations correspondingly retreated into more southern refugia where they became increasingly residential. By contrast, the Late Magdalenian and Late Glacial periods were marked by the rapid retreat of glaciers and the opening of un-populated and newly accessible landscapes. This period probably witnessed the fastest geographical expansion of populations since the Last Glacial Maximum, and in terms of newly-colonised pioneer territories, it represents the most dynamic phase of Late Glacial human range expansion into the northerly parts of Europe.” ref

“During periods of rapid geographical expansion of populations careful attention was required in order to maintain the social networks that must have been necessary to connect the “pioneers” at the front of expansion to populations which remained in the Magdalenian “homelands” of southwestern Europe. In addition, success in the process of expansion would demand the constant founding and establishment of new social entities and networks to ensure the success of communication over large distances.” ref

“It might be assumed that Gönnersdorf-type depictions symbolized the carrier of particular social networks; the “female sphere”. The spread of such depictions over almost all of Magdalenian Europe indicates that the communication of this symbolic “female sphere” occurred over this vast area. It may be, however, that the “female sphere” had different connotations in particular regions of Europe. Bosinski, for example, points out that in the parietal art of Western Europe Gönnersdorf-type depictions are often elements of more complex arrangements that include the illustration of explicit sexual symbols and supernatural creatures.” ref

“Distinct regional social networks may be reflected in regional styles e.g. in the geographical distribution of Late Magdalenian Gönnersdorf-type ivory and jet figurines. Whereas the ivory figurines are to be found at the northern margin of Magdalenian dispersal, figurines made of jet are restricted to sites in southern Central Europe. The latter type of figurine is more curved in shape and is paralleled in an ivory statuette from the Pekárna cave in Moravia. The success of the rapid and highly dynamic Late Glacial human expansion cannot be envisaged without the establishment of strong, long-distance communication networks.” ref

“Such networks must have focussed intently on the mandatory functioning of individuals within a group to ensure survival. Thus, the individual sphere must have been subordinate for the group and was presumably reflected in the absence of depictions of individuals. A further point underlines our assumption that Gönnersdorf-type depictions were closely connected to the process of expansion and colonization. Their geographical distribution excludes the Iberian Peninsula, where geographical population expansion seems to have been of subordinate significance.” ref

“By contrast, the Mid-Upper Palaeolithic is characterized by the increasing concentration of populations in certain regions as a response to the advancing glaciers and periglacial deserts. Within different parts of Europe one sees the concentration of human occupation in “settlement niches” that were characterized by different regional traditions, as is obvious from the lithic and organic material culture. These regional traditions can be interpreted as the result of a “cultural diversification” of the rather homogeneous initial substrate of the material culture during the later part of the preceding Aurignacian.” ref

“As already stated, the variability of Willendorf-style figurines can be explained in terms of a high degree of individualization. The latter is also reflected in Mid-Upper Palaeolithic burials with their huge variety of grave goods. Individualization becomes also visible by the numerous hand prints known from Mid-Upper Palaeolithic cave art. The potential Aurignacian burial from Kostenki 14 and the Aurignacian Venus of Hohle Fels indicate that particular customs regularly expressed during the Mid-Upper Palaeolithic were apparently rooted in the Late Aurignacian (style I).” ref

“Given the assumption that these initial customs survived into the early Mid-Upper Palaeolithic period of cultural diversification, during which Aurignacian meta-populations split into smaller regional sub-units, the implementation of large meta-regional networks would not have been necessary to explain the geographical spread of this “common spirit”. The existence of such tele-networks has been repeatedly proposed for the Mid-Upper Palaeolithic to explain the extreme geographical distribution of both burials and Willendorf-style figurines. Following this interpretation, the Willendorf-style figurines reflected and contributed to securing the communal identity of the group (in terms of an ‘emblemic function’).” ref

“Against this background, it is most interesting to consider the record between the Mid-Upper Palaeolithic and the Late Magdalenian in which we find the social substrate of the succeeding Late Glacial Expansion. The pre-16,000-cal-year-BP-period, especially the Middle Magdalenian, shares characteristics of both Mid-Upper Palaeolithic and Late Magdalenian iconographies: One of the key-sites in this discussion is the Middle Magdalenian site of La Marche. This produced a series of exceptional engravings of women depicted in “Willendorf-manner.” ref

“Concerning their general style, the presentation of heads and faces and further details such as clothing, headbands, belts or frequent jewelry, they appear to be reminiscent of the “Willendorf-style”. Details in the faces of the La Marche depictions apparently confront us with individuals – as we have suggested for some of the Mid-Upper Palaeolithic Willendorf-style figurines. At La Marche such individual traits also characterize various depictions of men that sometimes appear like caricatures. La Marche is not exceptional, however: a famous scene (the Poursuite Amoureuse) of a woman ‘followed’ by a man found at Isturitz also dates to the Middle Magdalenian.” ref

“The picture is designed in a manner comparable to the Mid-Upper Palaeolithic style in terms of body proportions, facial details, and the presence of jewelry, and stylistically, these engravings share more similarities with Mid-Upper Palaeolithic figurines than with those of the Late Magdalenian. Contrary to the Mid-Upper Palaeolithic, these depictions are frequently embedded in scenic compositions, foreshadowing the context in which human depictions of the subsequent Late Magdalenian occur. Women shown in bas-relief – even at natural size such as on the rear wall of the rockshelter of Angles-sur-l’Anglin or in the slightly younger context of La Magdeleine were depicted in a public way for many people to see.” ref

“The style of female representations has significantly changed through time. By the Late Magdalenian female depictions had lost all the individual traits that constituted the “Willendorf-style”. It can be assumed that by reduction to a standardized symbolic content during the Late Magdalenian female depictions became increasingly more public as they served as symbols in long-distance communication systems. This “greater visibility” of female depictions may well have expressed changes in the social role of women during the Late Magdalenian during times of extreme environmental challenges and their influences on population dynamics and group alliance systems.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


Animism: Respecting the Living World by Graham Harvey 

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

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

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

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

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

Understanding Religion Evolution:

“An Archaeological/Anthropological Understanding of Religion Evolution”

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


Quick Evolution of Religion?

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

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

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

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

Here are several of my blog posts on history:

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

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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

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

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

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

Tutelary deity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“In Section 2 he proceeds to elaborate:

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

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

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ref, ref

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Christianity around 2,o00 years old. ref

Shinto around 1,305 years old. ref

Islam around 1407–1385 years old. ref

Sikhism around 548–478 years old. ref

Bahá’í around 200–125 years old. ref

Knowledge to Ponder: 


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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

Expressions of Atheistic Thinking:

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

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

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The truth is best championed in the sunlight of challenge.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

The “Atheist-Humanist-Leftist Revolutionaries”

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

Why Does Power Bring Responsibility?

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

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

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

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

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

The Mind of a Skeptical Leftist (YouTube)

Cory Johnston: Mind of a Skeptical Leftist @Skepticallefty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Thought on the Evolution of Gods?

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

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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

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

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

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