View Full Version : The Goddess Religion video

August 12th, 2010, 08:58 PM
Here are the videos from youtube I want to share with you :)

Video description: "'The Goddess Religion'. A tour of the ancient sites of Catal Huyuk, Knossos, Malta and the Ice Age caves, regarding the ancient and widespread religion of the Great Goddess, reaching into the Mystery Cults of the Greek-Roman world."


August 13th, 2010, 12:09 AM
I've only taken a look at the first video, but these articles may be of interest to anybody interested in the Çatalhöyük finds (unfortunately they're not really accessible to people without university library access, but I can provide copies to anybody who asks under fair use):

Daily Practice and Social Memory at Çatalhöyük, Ian Hodder and Craig Cessford, American Antiquity Vol. 69 No. 1 (2004)

A Bird's Eye View -- of a Leopard's Spots: The Çatalhöyük 'Map' and the Development of Cartographic Representation in Prehistory, Stephanie Meece, Anatolian Studies Vol. 56 (2006)

Socialization and Feasting at Çatalhöyük: A Response to Adams, Ian Hodder, American Antiquity Vol. 70 No. 1 (2005)

Of particular relevance to the video are these passages:

We have much evidence at Çatalhöyük for feasts of various scales, certainly at times involving more than one house. These feasts were strongly associated with periodic events such as house abandonment and rebuilding. They were particularly associated with the consumption of wild bulls (Russel and Martin 2004). I think it very plausible, and have so argued myself, that the bucrania and other wild animal heads that were placed in houses on walls referred to feasting events and were involved in teh construction of status between competing houses and house groups.
Certainly at Çatalhöyük, much of the art and symbolism probably related to feasting. But that art and symbolism also surrounded daily practices within the house.

Hodder 2005, 190-191

Another important way in which individuals were entrained within house-based social units at Çatalhöyük was through the links to ancestors. The burials of individuals beneath the floors, and the references to those burials in the paintings on the walls (as in the paintings of vultures and headless corpses), embedded daily practice within a specific set of historical memories. The heads of certain designated individuals were at times dug up from recent burials and were kept, plastered, painted, and reburied as part of construction or abandonment events. The heads were probably present at feasts and were deposited in the foundation of a new house - again they linked the feast and the house and daily practice.

It is possible that some of these circulated heads resulted from headhunting or that they were victim or enemy heads...However, we have no direct evidence that would allow a victim head interpretation.

Hodder 2005, 191

Last (1998; 2006) and Matthews (1998) both suggested that the periodicity of the painting episodes may indicate a link to rituals of inhumation under the building floors. In high traffic areas paintings and plaster may have been renewed more frequently. Indeed, wall paintings at Çatalhöyük are quite rare; for the vast majority of the time most buildings' walls were plain white in colour. Areas subject to heavy wear may have required more frequent renewal; but it is certainly possible that the painting was visible for at least a year

Meece 2006, 5

an example of some of the possibilities for the significance of leopards and leopard skins comes from the cattle-keeping groups of east Africa. These societies often have a great deal of ritual focused on leopards and leopard skins. although the connection between the prominent role of cattle and leopard (and leopard-skin) ritual may be coincidental, it is notable that the Neolithic people of Çatalhöyük also placed great importance on cattle, while being fascinated with leopards and leopard skins.
Evans-Prichard (1956) wrote about the 'leopard-skin priest' of the Nuer (another east African cattle-keeping society) who resolves conflicts and disputes. The Nuer usually name this man 'earth priest', as he has an association with depth and soil. The leopard skin is his 'badge of office', and Evans-Prichard mentioned that the spotted patterns of this skin may have a symbolic association with the intermediary role that the priest takes - spotted patterns being neither one thing nor the other - though he concluded that the skins were probably worn because they were 'visually attractive and bold' (1956: 291).
Of course, the association between leopards and the enthroned female, which has come to be emblematic of Çatalhöyük...is well-known, and is seen also at HacIlar (Mellaart 1961); at Umm Dabaghiya (Kirkbride 1972: pl. IX) figurines of indeterminate sex are depicted wearing leopard skins. This association between female 'goddesses' and leopard skins is even found into the first millennium BC (Spivey 1997: 189) where a bronze relief of the Mistress of Animals, dating tot eh mid sixth century BC, is depicted with 'pendulous teats', squatting with legs splayed, throttling two felines.

Meece 2006, 11-13

In turning to the particular case of Çatalhöyük in central Anatolia, it is important to recognize that the site is the product of a long period of domestication and settlement agglomeration. Dated from 7400 to 6200 cal B.C., it occurs at the end of the Aceramic Neolithic (PPNB in the Near East), and the four earliest (Pre-XII) levels at Çatalhöyük appear to be without pottery.
The rules and constraints regulating the lives of the inhabitants in such dense agglomerations may have been particularly marked. These rules dealing with access to resources, the build-up of refuse, sanitation, social relations, ritual practices, and so on might have been particularly complex in such densely packed settlements. Such sites are at least partly dependent on delayed agricultural systems (as defined by Woodburn 1980), and all houses have some storage. There was thus the potential for conflict. But the conflict must have been well regulated in some way since these central Anatolian settlements were occupied over long periods of time, and there is remarkable continuity in their organization.

Hodder 2004, 19-20

August 13th, 2010, 12:06 PM
Thanks! I'll check them out.