Ancient Goddesses: The Myths and the Evidence
The nurturing Earth Goddess, the Great Mother worshipped at the dawn of civilization—historical fact or consoling fiction?
While Goddess mythologies proliferate and the public devours books by artists, psychotherapists, and enthusiastic amateurs, it is remarkable that those in the field of prehistory have remained largely silent. Did Goddess worship really exist? What actually remains from the earliest cultures, and what can it tell us? What can we learn about the early stages of human religion from the study of prehistoric carvings, pictures, pottery, figurines, and temples?
In Ancient Goddesses, historians and archaeologists write accessibly about this intriguing and controversial topic for the first time. Considering a number of significant early civilizations—Predynastic and Early Dynastic Egypt; “Old Europe;” Early North West Europe; “Celtic” civilization; the Prehistoric Aegean; Malta; the Ancient Near East; Old Testament Israel; Çatalhöyük; and Archaic Greece—these experts review the most recent evidence so that readers can make up their own minds.
Contributors include Ruth Tringham and Margaret Conkey, University of California, Berkeley; Lynn Meskell, New College, Oxford; Fekri Hassan, University College, London; Karel van der Toorn, University of Amsterdam; Joan Westenholz, Bible Lands Museum, Jerusalem; Elizabeth Shee Twohig, University College, Cork; Caroline Malone, New Hall, Cambridge; Mary Voyatzis, University of Arizona; and Miranda Green, University of Wales College.
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From Modern Myths
The Archaeologies of Catalhovuk
Goddesses of the Ancient Near East 30001000
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Akkadian Anat ancient animals anthropomorphic anthropomorphic figurines Arcadia archaeological archaeologists Artemis Asherah associated Athena Alea breasts Brittany Bronze Age burial Cambridge carvings Catalhoyiik Celtic century BC clay context Crete cult culture deitv depicted divine earlv early Egypt Egyptian evidence excavations female deities female figurines feminist fertilitv fertility figures gender Gimbutas Goddess movement Greek Haaland Hathor Heraklion Museum Hodder human iconography imagery images Inanna interpretation Iron Age Ishtar Isis king Knossos London male Malta manv material Megalithic Art Mellaart menhirs Mesopotamian millennium Minoan Mother Goddess mvth Mycenaean myth Neolithic objects Opovo Oxford palace passage tombs period prehistoric Queen of Heaven religion religious represent representation ritual role Roman sanctuaries Selevac sexual shrines social society statue menhirs stone suggested Sumerian svmbolic symbols Tarxien Tegea temple terracotta texts Thames and Hudson thev tion Tringham Ugaritic Universitv Universitv Press Upper Palaeolithic votive women worshipped Xaghra Yahu Yahweh