Human evolution theory utilizing concepts of neoteny & female sexual selection
An etiology of neuropsychological disorders such as autism and dyslexia, and the origin of left handedness.

twitter / andrewL9

 Library of Excerpts

Goddess Cultures: Part 1

"The snake and its abstracted derivative, the spiral, are the dominant motifs of the art of Old Europe, and their imaginative use in spiraliform design throughout the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods remained unsurpassed by any subsequent decorative style until the Minoan civilization, the sole inheritor of Old European lavishness. The Chalcolithic Butmir, Cucuteni, and East Balkan peoples created large bulbous vessels, adopted the snake-spiral as the bases of the entire ornamental composition. This art reached its peak of unified symbolic and aesthetic expression c. 5000 BC." (Marija Gimbutas (1974) The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe. Univ. of California Press, Berkeley p. 93)

"As a supreme Creator who creates from her own substance she is the primary goddess of the Old European pantheon. In this she contrasts with the Indo-European Earth-Mother, who is the impalpable sacred earth-spirit and is not in herself a creative principle; only through the interaction of the male sky-god does she become pregnant." (Marija Gimbutas (1974) The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe. Univ. of California Press, Berkeley p. 196)

"In Greece, as in India, the Great Goddess survived the superimposed Indo-European cultural horizon. As the predecessor of Anatolian and Greek Hekate-Artemis (related to Kubaba, Kybebe/Cybele) she lived through the Bronze Age, then through Classical Greece and even into later history in spite of transformations of her outer form and the many different names that were applied to her. The image of Hekate-Artemis of Caria, Lydia and Greece, based on descriptions of early Greek authors, vase paintings, and finds in actual sanctuaries dedicated to this multifunctional goddess, supplement and verify our understanding of the appearance and functions of the prehistoric goddess. Written sources pour blood into her veins of stone, clay, bone or gold." (Marija Gimbutas (1974) The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe. Univ. of California Press, Berkeley p. 197)

"It is no mere coincidence that the venerated goddess of the sixth and fifth centuries in Ancient Greece resembles the Goddess of Life and Death of the sixth and fifth millennia BC. Mythical images lst for many millennia. In her various manifestations -- strong and beautiful Virgin, Bear-Mother, and Life-giver and Life-taker -- the Great Goddess existed for at least five thousand years before the appearance of Classical Greek civilization. Village communities worship her to this day in the guise of the Virgin Mary. The concept of the goddess in bear shape was deeply ingrained in mythical thought through the millennia and survives in contemporary Crete as 'Virgin Mary of the Bear'. In the cave of Acrotiri near ancient Kydonia, a festival in honour of Panagia (Mary) Arkoudiotissa ('she or the bear') is celebrated on the second day of February (Thompson 1961-62). In European folk beliefs, she still moves within pregnant women in the shape of a wandering uterus or a toad. Each of her feminine aspects, virginity, birth-giving and motherhood, as well as her Terrible Mother aspect, is well represented in figurine art throughout the Neolithic and Chalcolithic eras of Old Europe." (Marija Gimbutas (1974) The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe. Univ. of California Press, Berkeley p. 199-200)

"Significantly, almost all Neolithic goddesses are composite images with an accumulation of traits from the pre-agricultural and agricultural eras. The water bird, deer, bear, fish, snake, toad, turtle, and the notion of hybridization of animal and man, were inherited from the Paleolithic era and continued to serve as avatars of goddesses and gods. There was no such thing as a religion or mythical imagery newly created by agriculturists at the beginning of the food-producing period." (Marija Gimbutas (1974) The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe. Univ. of California Press, Berkeley p. 237)

"...the local, robust, tall-statured European of 'Cro-Magnon B' type, distinguished by a mesocephalic skull and 'rectangular' face - a very wide mandible and short, straight nose -- continued to occupy the area [middle Danube], comprising both the Mesolithic and Neolithic inhabitants." (Marija Gimbutas (1974) The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe. Univ. of California Press, Berkeley p. 27)

"Kurland notes that, just as we would expect, matrilineal societies tend to have low paternity certainty and to place little stress on female fidelity; patrilineal societies tend to have high paternity certainty and place greater stress on female chastity and fidelity. Men invest in their sister's children where there is matrilineality and in their own children when patrilineality prevails." (Thompson, W.I. (1981) The Time Falling Bodies Take To Light; St. Martin’s Press: New York p. 57)

"It would not happen overnight, but the enantiodrama was that the discovery of cereals by women permitted the discovery of warfare by men." (see pages 134-5 on Thompson's discussion of growth of warfare with an increase of stored grain wealth.) " (Thompson, W.I. (1981) The Time Falling Bodies Take To Light; St. Martin’s Press: New York p. 134)

"The difficulty is that when a man thinks of matriarchy, he thinks of a patriarchy with women in the place of men; he does not stop to consider that matriarchy may be a complete mirror-image. Where patriarchy establishes law, matriarchy establishes custom; where patriarchy establishes military power, matriarchy establishes religious authority; where patriarchy encourages the aresteia of he individual warrior, matriarchy encourages the tradition bound cohesion of the collective." " (Thompson, W.I. (1981) The Time Falling Bodies Take To Light; St. Martin’s Press: New York p. 140)

"With the rise of trade and the accumulation of wealth, warfare and raids became more common. Hacilar II of 5259 BC is a fortress settlement that shows evidence of having been burned and invaded by newcomers with different traditions of building, statuary, and pottery." " (Thompson, W.I. (1981) The Time Falling Bodies Take To Light; St. Martin’s Press: New York p. 154)

"The period of Catal Huyuk's greatness ended around 5400 B.C. and with it, seemingly, a period of peaceful Neolithic trade and worship of the Great Goddess." {Indo European incursions begin around 4300 BC. see Gimbutas} " (Thompson, W.I. (1981) The Time Falling Bodies Take To Light; St. Martin’s Press: New York p. 159)

Description of processes of Anatolian and Syrian transition toward pastoral nomadism from 6000 B.C. to 4000 B.C. " (Thompson, W.I. (1981) The Time Falling Bodies Take To Light; St. Martin’s Press: New York p. 160)

Description of Far Eastern islands having matriarchal systems with female shamans. " (Thompson, W.I. (1981) The Time Falling Bodies Take To Light; St. Martin’s Press: New York p. 441)

"The egg-shaped halls and niches of subterranean tombs are frequently painted in red. The placing of ochre in graves was an almost universal feature; it was extensively sprinkled on the skull or scattered all over the body. This red was the color of life, of blood, which was necessary to secure regeneration." (Gimbutas, Marija (1991) The Civilization of the Goddess. Harper: S. F. p. 281)

"The earliest civilizations of the world--in China, Tibet, Egypt, the Near East, and Europe--were, in all probability, matristic "Goddess civilizations." Since agriculture was developed by women, the Neolithic period created optimum conditions for the survival of matrilineal, endogamous systems inherited from Paleolithic times. During the early agricultural period women reached the apex of their influence in farming, arts and crafts, and social functions. The matriclan with collectivist principles continued.
There is no evidence in all Old Europe of a patriarchal chieftainate of the Indo-European type. There are no male royal tombs and no residences in magarons on hill forts. The burial rites and settlement patterns reflect a matrilineal structure, whereas the distribution of wealth in graves speaks for an economic egalitarianism." (Gimbutas, Marija (1991) The Civilization of the Goddess. Harper: S. F. p. 423)

"Nevertheless, there is a significant pattern which repeats throughout the millennia in which there are no acropolises, no heavy fortifications, and no outstanding central buildings. The temples are always integrated with the everyday village life." (Gimbutas, Marija (1991) The Civilization of the Goddess. Harper: S. F. p. 326)

Descriptions of burial practices emphasizing contrast between Goddess and Cheiftan type cultures. (Gimbutas, Marija (1991) The Civilization of the Goddess. Harper: S. F. pp. 334-5)

"Old European cemeteries cannot be divided into rich and poor grave categories, as in Indo-European times, since grave goods do not represent the wealth of an individual; they are essentially symbolic, expressing either religious symbols or personal qualities." (Gimbutas, Marija (1991) The Civilization of the Goddess. Harper: S. F. p. 336)

"In summary, the cemetery evidence in central and east-central Europe during the 5th millennium B.C. speaks for the existence of kinship based societies. Graves were arranged in rows or in groups of twenty to thirty-five people, which may refect kin-related units. The most honored members of the Old European society were elder females, perhaps heads of the stem or queens, and girls who were very likely members of a hereditary line or priestesses. Their graves do not indicate the accumulation of personal possessions but are marked by symbolic items, sometimes of exceptional quality, and by the erection of gigantic mounds and consecrated structures. The graves of girls and female infants were consistently equipped with exceptional ritual objects not found in other graves. Analysis of blood groups testify to a pronounced indogamous society which may suggest that these girls were important heiresses in a hereditary female line." (Gimbutas, Marija (1991) The Civilization of the Goddess. Harper: S. F. p. 338)

"Judging from mythologies and surviving kinship terminology, the brother of the queen (or priestess, as representative of the Goddess), rather than her consort, played a major role. In Neolithic times, the queen-priestess presided over agriculture and religious life. Her brother may have assumed leadership responsibililies (but not dominating control) over public works, craft organization, and trade." (Gimbutas, Marija (1991) The Civilization of the Goddess. Harper: S. F. p. 344)

"No weapons except implements for hunting are found among grave goods in Europe until c. 4500-4300 B.C., nor is there evidence of hilltop fortification of Old European settlements." (Gimbutas, Marija (1991) The Civilization of the Goddess. Harper: S. F. p. 352)

Renfrew quotes K. HJ. Jackson on the existence of a pre Indo-European language in Pictish Scotland (Renfrew, Colin (1974) The Explanation of Culture Change: Models of Prehistory. Univ. of Pittsburgh Press: Pittsburgh. p. 227)

Discusses matrifocus variables in the creation of war orientations. Suggested is that there is little incentive for close communities to battle if males have to change location in a matrilocal culture. They would be fighting their own relatives. Other issues include absantee males (because of trade) having the incentive to give their sisters control of their resources because their wives would have a conflicting inlaw ties.(Harris, Marvin (1977) Cannibals and Kings. Vintage Books: New York pp. 87-92)

List of matriarchys in preclassical Europe and Egypt. Harris believes this was a temporary stage between patriarchal eras. Harris, Marvin (1977) Cannibals and Kings. Vintage Books: New York pp. 118-120)

quoting Joseph Campbell "codes of Roman Law vestigial features can be recognized to a matrilineal order of inheritance" in first European recognition of matristic order in 1861 by Johann Jakob Bachofen. (Gimbutas, Marija (1989) The Languages of the Goddess. Harper: S. F. first page in the forward)

"And, for the premodern revivalists, the cure is somehow to recontact and resurrect our acorness, We must get back to a state prior to the "dissociation." But because these theorists tend to confuse differentiation and dissociation, they confuse dignity and the disaster, they confuse forward and backward. They would have us heal the dissociations and modernity, which is well and good; but because they do not distinquish between differentiation and dissociation, they keep looking for a previous period in history where there were no differentiations at all; this forces them to look further and further back into prehistory, searching for that state of perfect acorness prior to any nasty divisions. They inevitably end up at one of the earliest stages of human evolution--foraging or horticulture--and this simple state of fusion and indissociation is eulogized as being very close to a state of perfect harmony among mind, body, and nature--when in fact those systems were not integrated, they were simply not yet clearly differentiated in the first place." (Wilber, Ken (1998) The Marriage of Sense and Soul. Random House, New York p. 54)

"There is, for example, brachycephalizaton. For the past ten thousand years, the heads of people have been growing rounder in populations as far apart as Europe, India, Polynesia, and North America. In rural Poland, between the Carpathian Mountains and the Baltic Sea, anthropologists have documented the trend in skeletons from about 1300 to the early twentieth century, embracing about thirty generations. The change is due principally to the slightly higher survival rate of round-heads, and not to the influx of brachycephalics from outside Poland. The trait has a partial genetic basis, but the reason for its greater Darwinian success, if any, remains unknown." (Wilson, E.O. (1998) Consilience. Knoff, New York p. 271)

"The major aspects of the Goddess of the Neolithic --- the birth-giver, portrayed in a naturalistic birth-giving pose; the fertility-giver influencing growth and multiplication, portrayed as a pregnant nude; the life of nourishment-giver and protectress, portrayed as a bird-women with breasts and protruding buttocks; and the death-wielder as a stiff nude ("bone") --- can all be traced back to the period when the first sculptures of bone, ivory, or stone appeared, around 25,000 B. C. and their symbols --- vulvas, triangles, breasts, chevrons, zig-zags, meanders, cupmarks --- to an even earlier time." (Gimbutas, Marija (1989) The Languages of the Goddess. Harper: S. F. p. xix)

"This symbolic system represents cyclical, not linear, mythical time. In art this is manifested by the signs of dynamic motion: whirling and twisting spirals, winding and coiling snakes, circles, crescents, horns, sprouting seeds and shoots. The snake was a symbol of life energy and regeneration, a most benevolent, not an evil, creature." (Gimbutas, Marija (1989) The Languages of the Goddess. Harper: S. F. p. xix)

Picture of Irish and Maltese eye/snake spirals from 3200 B. C. (Gimbutas, Marija (1989) The Languages of the Goddess. Harper: S. F. p. 60)

See these pages for earliest musical instruments 18,000 B.C. and goddess connections to the origins of music in Egypt and Greece. (Gimbutas, Marija (1989) The Languages of the Goddess. Harper: S. F. p. 71)

"Greek Artemis, Eileithyia, Thracian Bendis, Venetic Rehtia, and Roman Diana, as well as the living Fate in European folk beliefs --- particularly the Baltic Laima and the Irish Brigit --- are unquestionable descendants of the prehistoric Life-giving Goddess. This Goddess has nothing to do with the Indo-European pantheon of gods. She must have survived the process of Indo-Europeanization and was carried over to our times from generation to generation by the grandmothers and mothers of countless families. The historic and prehistoric Life-giver was a Mistress of mountains, stones, waters, forests, and animals, and incarnation of the mysterious powers of nature. Being an owner of wells, springs, and healing waters, she was a miraculous bestower of health. Through prehistory and history she appeared as a bird woman, bird, or woman. As a waterbird she was a nourisher of humanity and an increaser of material goods. She was the guardian of the well-being of the family and from Paleolithic times must have been considered to be the ancestress and progenetrix of the family or clan." (Gimbutas, Marija (1989) The Languages of the Goddess. Harper: S. F. p. 111)

"The beautiful Hera, one of the most revered of the Greek Goddesses, is the likely descendant of the prehistoric Snake Goddess." "Homer called her "cow-faced." boopis. Egyptian Hathor was also a cow and is described as the primeval serpent who ruled the world." (Gimbutas, Marija (1989) The Languages of the Goddess. Harper: S. F. p. 134)

"Where descent is in the female line, as it was universally in the archaic period, the gens is composed of a supposed female ancestor and her children, together with the children of her female descendants, through females, in perpetuity..." (Morgan 1877: 63, Ancient Society.)

"The gens has passed through successive stages of development in its transition from its archaic to its final form with the progress of mankind. These changes were limited, in the main, to two: firstly, changing descent from the female line, which was the archaic rule, as among the Iroquois, to the male line, which was the final rule, as among the Grecian and Roman gentes; and, secondly, changing the inheritance of the property of a deceased member of the gens from his gentiles, who took it in the archaic period, first to his agnatic kindred, and finally to his children. These changes, slight as they may seem, indicate very great changes of condition as well as a large degree of progressive development." (Morgan 1877: 64, Ancient Society.)

Description of American Indian, such as Iroquois, serial monogamous practices with a matrifocussed orientation. (Morgan 1877: 454-5, Ancient Society.)

"Diamond pointed out that along with these social ills came physical ills as well. Hunter-gatherer era skeletons of American Indians dug up in the Illinois and Ohio River valleys differ so dramatically from the later, smaller, and less healthy agriculture era skeletons in the same region that Diamond called corn, often thought to be an agricultural wonder, "a public health disaster." (Hartmann 1996: 109, Beyond ADD)

"Nutritional problems and susceptibility to infectious disease seem to have been an even worse consequence. Anthropologist George Armelagos studied the skeletons of Indians who lived in Illinois from A.D. 950 to A.D. 1300; their adoption of intensive agriculture in A.D. 1200 was accompanied by a sudden increase in disease. In the preagricultural phase, only 16 percent of the skeletons showed signs of iron-deficiency anaemia. After A.D. 1200, the incidence shot up to 64 percent. The overall rate of infectious diseases that leave a mark in bone went from 27 percent to 81 percent. Average life expectancy dropped from twenty-six to nineteen years." (Budiansky 1992: 37, The Covenant of the Wild)

"The present model lends some support to Murdock's (1949) contention that matrilocal-matrilineal societies easily revert to patrilocal-patrilineal societies. The paternity threshold (pt=0.268) is low, and thus may be easily realized. This low paternity threshold easily leads to the emergence of patrilineal, patrilateral, or patrilocal patterns that are, in fact, found in many matrilineal groups (Richards 1950). Once the paternity threshold has been passed, only a radical alteration in residence, male mobility, promiscuity, or female choice will bring the average paternity probability again below a fourth. Thus, it is not too surprising that only 15 percent of societies in Murdock's (1957) sample are matrilineal." (Kurland, J.A. (1979) Paternity, Mother's Brother, and Human Sociality. In Evolutionary Biology and Human Social Behavior. N. Chagnon & W. Irons, eds. Pp. 177)



Related Links