Sunday, July 31, 2005
Goddess of the MOUNTAIN
You can't lay eyes on this ancient Minoan picture and deny that this is one powerful woman.
About Minoans, archaeologists more often disagree than agree. None, however -- as far as I know -- oppose the notion that this is a mighty woman. Almost all call her a Goddess. Wanna know why? Because the other alternative -- that she was the ruler of the Minoans -- is one that makes male archaeologists quake with fear. How could they explain to the world that the ruler of the kindest, gentlest, most peaceful, most sensual, most fun-loving, most artistic, most playful, most vibrant, AND most technologically advanced society that the world has ever known* WAS A WOMAN?!?
Personally I think the Minoans worshipped a Goddess and also chose to be governed either by a woman, by councils of women, or by councils of both men and women. As with the Iroquois, however, the ultimate decisionmaking power would rest in the hands of a woman (who rarely stepped into the decisionmaking arena, and only to arbitrate). I suspect that women "governed" so wisely that no one even felt it. Men and women alike probably had all the power and freedom they wanted, with one sex making as many decisions as the other.
BTW, the "Goddess of the mountain" as this picture is known, is actually an impression made in clay from a signet ring. Fitton 2002: 189 says it was made during the Late Minoan I period, which came at the end of the Neopalatial (New Palace) period (1700 - 1450 BC).
*Most technologically advanced at least until about the 1700s AD, when Europe re-invented indoor plumbing including flush toilets and indoor running water -- all of which the Minoans had in the 1700s BC.