Sunday, June 12, 2005
WILL THE Great Goddess Resurface?
This student paper on the extraordinarily complicated work of the archaeologist Marija Gimbutas, isn't half bad. She (I assume this is a she, but of course I could be wrong) even introduces us to some of Gimbutas's critics. And believe me, there are a whole whale-load of those! Marija Gimbutas had the guts to challenge the gods -- as well as the male "owners" of the field of archaeology. You'd better believe she has critics -- the list is light-years long.
As an archaeologist myself, here's how I view what I call "The Gimbutas Ruckus." Gimbutas was a woman in a man's field. Male archaeologists have a rep for being just a tad patriarchal (guys in archaeology, I am so very sorry to have to say this, but I'm afraid I'm just reporting what I hear, and, to some extent what I've experienced. If I'm wrong, please counter with evidence to the contrary). Even today, women archaeologists are at the mercy of these possibly testosterone-challenged guys -- for their own academic reps, not to mention the bread on their tables. So some women archaeologists, too, have landed on Gimbutas with nostrils flaring.
But Gimbutas merely did what all archaeologists of her time did. Instead of constantly repeating, "Now remember, this is theory not fact," she'd present a theory and back it up with evidence. My stars! Scandalous! Shameless hussy!
Interestingly, however, no archaeologist ever says "Gimbutas is wrong." (At least none I know of.) Instead, they say, "She makes it sound as if she's discovered Truth -- And SHE COULD BE WRONG!" They know they can't say she's wrong -- until they explain the data better than she did. (Them's the rules, Clem, them's the rules.) And so far, no one has explained the data better than Gimbutas has. If you can show me wrong, here, please give me the heads up.
Go HERE to read the paper.
Thnx to K.J. Matthews for the delightful photo of Marija Gimbutas