Tuesday, November 08, 2005

FLASH! New Goddess Figurine Discovered

Heavy stuff going down in the Goddess world, my friends. An amazing new Goddess figurine has been discovered, at perhaps the most famous and most controversial Goddess site of them all: Turkey’s 7,500-year-old Catalhoyuk. The excavators admit this figure has stunned them, and that it might “… force us to change our views of the nature of Catalhoyuk society.”

A little background on this site might suggest some of the irony in that last statement: James Mellaart, the British archaeologist who discovered Catalhoyuk in the 1950s, felt fairly convinced that the Mother Goddess was a major force among the ancient Catalhoyukians. However, Mellaart’s excavations were closed down in the 1960s, due to politics, and for 30 years the site sat dormant. It wasn’t until the 1990s that archaeologist, Ian Hodder reopened the dig. Unfortunately, Hodder’s stood on his head to deny even the possibility of Goddess worship at Catalhoyuk. Want a good laugh? Read him sometime and get a gawk at the lengths he goes to in order to explain away the complex, finely made figurines with bulbous breasts. Or to explain why there are no male figurines at Catal Huyuk, let alone anything remotely resembling a god. Religion? What religion? Hodder appears never to have heard the word, making Catalhoyukians the only people in time or space who didn’t have any.

Here’s what Hodder has to say about this stunning new figurine:

“This clay figurine was found in 2005 in … the fill of a burnt house. Immediately on finding the figurine we were all taken aback by its very strange and unusual imagery. The front of the figurine looks very much like the so called 'Mother Goddess' figurines that are so well known (though rare) from Catalhoyuk. There are full breasts on which the hands rest, and the stomach is extended in the central part…. [T]he arms are very thin, and then on the back … one sees a depiction of either a skeleton or the bones of a very thin and depleted human. The ribs and vertebrae are clear…. The figurine can be interpreted in a number of ways - as a woman turning into an ancestor, as a woman associated with death, or as death and life conjoined. [NOTICE HOW THE WORD ‘GODDESS’ IS PAINFULLY AVOIDED?] Whatever the specific interpretation, this is a unique piece that may force us to change our views of the nature of Catalhoyuk society….”

Eat your hat, Hodder! I’d say, yes, you need to change your views! A “woman turning into an ancestor”??!! You know, human beings typically have words for people who turn themselves into other beings, and they all have to do with otherness, with the spiritual world. “Fairy” comes to mind. Or “god.” Or “witch.” Or “Goddess.” Spit the word out, boy, it won’t burn you: “Goddess.” “Goddess.” “Goddess.”

Go HERE to see pictures of this awesome new Goddess, which is shown from several angles.

thnx to IstanbulPortal for the foto of one of the most famous Goddess figurine found by Mellaart at Catalhoyuk.


ursa said...

She's so haunting do you think she could be the goddess of life and death.I just hope this time they come out and admit what they've got. I would love to have seen her head, do think they will alter their ideas now ?.

Morgaine said...

Beautiful! Now if we can just get the man to say it - GODDESS! She's coming back whether they like it or not, and it will be a lot easier on everyone if they just acknowledge her now...

Anne Johnson said...

Ever noticed that most of these goddess figures are very plump with huge breasts? Reason? Because that means she's not starving to death and has ample milk-making capacity (sorry for the goat judge terminology). The skeleton on her back? THE FAMINE SHE'S KEEPING AT BAY.

Don't know about the rest of you, but I feel that famine breathing down the back of my neck. Protect me, Goddess of Old!

Athana said...

I'm really stunned myself by this figurine, to tell you the truth. I'm going to have to sleep on it for quite a while before I can give any cogent responses to it. But here are some of my initial reactions: First, she has definite bird qualities, just like many of Marija Gimbutas's finds in Old Europe. Second, there are just too many "starvation/death" features about her to ignore. Third, there seems a definite juxtaposition of birth and death, here. Fourth, Ian Hodder's finding an awful lot of baby graves at Catalhoyuk; could there be a tie-in, here? This figurine is a pregnant woman with death "at her back".... Fifth, I'm reminded of Ian Wilson's theory that there was a large, highly sophisticated Goddess civilization inhabiting the shores of the Black Sea before 6000 BC, but that this civ. was wiped out by an immense flood that inundated the old shoreline of the Black Sea (see my May 17 post); this might explain why Catalhoyuk is so advanced -- but so alone -- on the 6000 BC landscape. I.e., it could have have been settled by refugees from Wilson's flood. And these peaceful, gentle Goddess refugees might have been scarred sufficiently by the flood so as to feel "death at their backs" constantly.