Thursday, March 20, 2014


Ian Hodder, the archaeologist who broke all the rules by grabbing excavating money from big corporations (Shell & Boeing, two of the biggest on the planet), wants us to believe there’s no such thing as female figurines at the 8000 year-old site Catalhoyuk -- where some of the most magnificent and spine-tingling female figurines ever found, have indeed been found. 

I give you two, here.

Mr. Hodder’s latest statement on female figurines: “...less than 3% of our entire corpus of figurines could be considered female....  As recent analysis shows, many of the corpulent examples often assumed to be “female” show no primary sexual characteristics.”*  

First, I’m wondering why Mr. Hodder stuffed the word “female” between quote marks?  Is he afraid of getting bugs from the word?  Is Mr. Hodder afraid of women? 

Second, why won’t Mr. Hodder show what female figurines do come from Catal Huyuk? 

Go HERE and look through his 343 photos. 

Do you see any female figurines? 

I don’t. 

My guess?  These goddesses don’t embarrass Mr. Hodder -- they embarrass his corporate masters. 

There’s a reason archaeologists don’t take money from Sugar Daddies, Mr. Hodder.  Do your Shell and Boeing daddies make you kiss their toes at night before you go to bed -- hmmmm? 

Repent, Mr. Hodder, repent before it’s too late.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire archaeology community booted you out of their club.  We're not sure we can trust you anymore. 
*from “Symbolism, Feasting, and Power at Catalhoyuk.”  Ian Hodder and Lynn Meskell.   Current Anthropology  Volume 53, Number 1, February 2012, pp 128-129.


Hearth Moon Rising said...

I would guess that, if anything, Hodder is catering to prejudices in academia and in archeology, because his attitudes are widespread. But he probably sincerely holds those sexist views, because you really have to treat the data in a special way to come up with his conclusions.

He is only counting the figurines excavated by his own team, which are so much earlier in time than the others that sex is hard to determine because the artifacts are so decayed. He doesn't approve of archeology as it has been conducted by people other than him, so he feels justified in ignoring everything anyone else has discovered. Also, he is counting everything: human figures, animal figures, artifacts that can't be identified. The fact is, the further back in prehistory you go, the less humanoid the images and the more likely they are to be animals. And I would imagine his team has very stringent, even ridiculous standards for identifying female figurines. That's how he gets his 3%.

He has an agenda, but I tend to think that he (and Lynn Meskell) really are that sexist. And today's archeology community would probably boot out anyone who didn't live down to Hodder's standards.

Athana said...

Hearth Moon Rising: your idea that Hodder’s team has “very stringent, even ridiculous standards for identifying female figurines” seems on target. And you’re probably right too about Hodder and Meskell being die-hard sexists. It’s been my personal experience that American archaeologists, at least, do seem a bit more sexist than people in other disciplines.

But the fact that Boeing and Shell Oil are funding Hodder’s dig is also very disturbing to me. Why do corporations bother to fund anything? Because it makes them look good. Can you imagine the ultra-male Boeing and Shell corporations funding anything represented by extremely corpulent, assertive looking nude women? It smells very fishy to me. There’s too much risk that the archaeologist will kow tow to the money in order to keep it coming in. Perhaps without even realizing it.