So what happened?
Marija Gimbutas writes about the invasion into Old Europe of a culture that was its antithesis, the "Kurgan" Culture, named after the style of the burial mounds of their culture's chieftans.
“The Old European and the Kurgan cultures were completely opposite," Marija explains. She then examines how the two cultures were opposites.
Old Europe: sedentary-horticultural, dwelling in large agglomerations
Kurgan: mobile, living in small villages
Old Europe: matrilinear, egalitarian, peaceful
Kurgan: patriarchal, ranked, and warlike
"The respective ideologies produced different sets of gods and symbols, Marija continued."
Old European ideology: focused on the eternal aspects of birth, death, and regeneration, symbolized by a goddess, no emphasis on dangerous weapons
Kurgan ideology (like all historically-known Indo-Europeans): glorified the sharp blade
Gimbutas concludes, “The domesticated horse, it seems, was the prime cause, as well as the means, for the emergence
of power from the wooded steppe zone north of the Caspian and the Black Seas."
Lost Goddesses Writing Found
Was prehistoric Europe a place of peace for thousands of years? We've just excavated amazing words from the last writings of a renowned archaeologist whose life's work addressed that question. We reveal the words here for the first time on the web, quoted exactly as they were discovered:
“By 4500 BC, the European continent hosted a flourishing group of Goddess worshipping cultures. Over the preceding two millennia, from about 6500 BC to 4500 BC, these cultures had undergone a peaceful evolution, and by the end of this time achieved what could properly be called a Golden Age of Old European civilization. They produced arts and crafts of remarkable quality. Communities achieved populations of many thousands and were laid out in a planned manner. Towns were located at consistently even distances from each other, with larger cities acting as religious and trade centers.”
The paragraph above reveals the work of an archaeologist whose entire career had been spent digging into warrior cultures in ancient Europe. Then, the archaeologist dug deeper and discovered consistently peaceful cultures that had thrived for thousands of years. Thus, these assertions are backed by a lifetime of archaeological excavation and analysis.
Another paragraph by the archaeologist reveals that during the peaceful milleniums in east-central Europe,
"Artisans produced copper and gold, tools, jewelry and symbols that
display a complete mastery of these media. Old European ceramicists
produced pottery so refined in execution that it would not be matched
for thousands of years. They developed a form of writing which shows the
ability to deal with a high level of abstraction."
“The focus of life for these peoples was religion: the perpetual functioning of the cycle of life, death, and regeneration embodied by a central feminine force – the Goddess.
“The tens of thousands of figurines and sculptures, the burial rites, the rich religious symbolism, all attest the ideology of these peoples. The most advanced architecture - two-story buildings - were reserved for temples. Religion pervaded every aspect of life, and even weaving and the baking of bread were included as sacred activities in the temples."
Then the renowned archaeologist reveals the following stunning facts...
“The achievements of these ancient civilizations were attained without the use of force. Nowhere in Old Europe is there evidence of warfare. Heavy fortifications are absent, and settlements are located for their proximity to fields and water sources, not for protection from attack...Evidence of pitched battle and violent invasions is nonexistent. Nowhere are there buried warriors, with limbs hacked off or spearheads embedded in bones, and nowhere are there signs of glorification of war heroes."
“The family clan was structured around the clan's women; the older women were especially revered as creators of the clan. In this way, the central role of the women in the family clan reflected the central role of the Goddess in religion."
This clear statement about what was happening during three thousand year periods of Europe's prehistory was found in a place that may seem prehistoric to some who have grown accustomed to blazing fast Internet access to information and entertainment. It was on a high shelf in a library.
It was found bound between brown library-supplied covers, wedged between big, thick books. It may be the last essay by famed UCLA archaeologist Marija Gimbutas. It is collected together with other essays by her in a little book that offers both the concise summary of her life's discoveries we have been quoting, and essays documenting some of those discoveries during 1952 and 1953.
Here's an example from one of her other essays in the little book titled: "Old Europe c. 7000 - 3500 BC: The Earliest European Civilization before the Infiltration of the Indo-European Peoples."
Marija Gimbutas states that, "A time period around 3500 BC forms a caesura (break/interruption) between Old Europe and Indo-European Europe. It is a time when life in the large villages and townships either stops or is markedly changed. It is at this time...that the first eruption into the Danubian and northern European plains of the Kurgan or Proto-Indo-European peoples...is dated. The degenerative changes in the settlements of the Old European Civilization may be assumed to indicate the beginning of the Indo-European presence."
Gimbutas continues, "In my own view, the Old European, Old Anatolian, and Indian Harappan Neolithic civilizations stand in oposition to the patriarchal,
patrilinear, and warlike culture of the Indo-Europeans."
Goddesses editors encourage you to explore more about what Marija discovered by excavating your own
local library. Or shop at the
Goddesses Sunday Book Review.
Goddesses editor Dean Adams Curtis shares his thoughts and would like to know your thoughts.
Goddesses Editor Celebrates Site's 25 Years
"We feature the words of UCLA archaeologist Marija Gimbutas on the Goddesses home page as a constant reminder of our editorial priority," notes Goddesses owner/editor Dean Adams Curtis. "That is to promote understanding that humans lived for thousands of years at peace with one another prior to the onset of persistent war for the last five thousand years. If it was once so, we can strive to make it so again"
As Goddesses celebrates a quarter century on the web, Dean hopes to keep the site up for another twenty-five years. "We will keep Goddesses from the porn purveyers," Dean commits, "while offering easy access to research into Prehistory, to goddess-oriented mythologies, and to the 'ground-truth' of archaeologists." He adds, "It will help greatly if you buy books from the site, as the small commissions we receive on sales fund Goddesses' continued operation."
A click above takes you to the door of 3D touring through the archaeological museum of Sofia, Bulgaria in search of bird goddesses and more. Tip: Go up the stairs.
New Goddesses Associate Editor
Skye Macrae Curtis
Watch as Skye offers her perspectives on what's happening in feminist pornography.