So, I'm taking a class about women in ancient history and I decided to share a piece with you. If you are interested in this sort of thing, I highly recommend the book, "The Other Half Of The World" by Carmen Myrtis-Garcia.

    Thousands of ancient artifacts depicting female images suggest women played a pivotal part in human development. Until humans began breeding animals around 6000 B.C., man's role in procreation was unknown. Women were believed to create life parthenogenetically as well as then nourish that life from their breasts, thus they were revered. Also, there was no medical explanation of menstruation so that too was regarded as magical, mysterious and divine. Artifacts from rituals show that females were the spiritual leaders of their prehistoric kin and the analysis of cave paintings by French anthropologist Leroi-Gouran found that female figures were central to the pictures while male figures were in more supportive positions..
   Female members of Stone Age cultures were doing about 80% of the daily work necessary for survival. Women foraged for and prepared food (probably were the originators of cooking with fire), invented/created tools, made clothing and containers and cared for the children. As they became more knowledgeable about plants, they became healers. Additionally, they worked alongside men building and tending their shelters, fashioning jewelry, and sometimes hunting.
   The controversies surrounding unearthed female images seems due largely to a patriarchal interpretation of these ancient findings. Until the prehistoric Goddess images were unearthed, it was believed that patriarchal societies had been dominant throughout human history. Discovering otherwise must have been truly disconcerting for many people of both genders, possibly comparable to the realization of Earth's roundness by previous generations.
   These ancient female forms have pronounced breasts, bellies, hips and sometimes pubic triangles; all of which many religious or conservative cultures consider shocking, shameful and/or immodest. I am not surprised that at first these were considered dolls or possibly even porn. Even in contemporary times, many people are offended at the notion of the Great Mother Goddess, let alone the sight of a naked statue. As if the possibility of a Goddess culture would completely undermine everything they believe to be true within their own spiritual paradigms. Considering the controversy in various cultures regarding the naked body, I wonder how many ancient artifacts were destroyed or defaced in the name of modesty. Not surprising, is the counter-controversy, if you will, about any artifact being referred to as “Venus.” Although, I understand the argument about the name “Venus” not being multi-faceted enough to represent the many aspects of these Mother Goddess figures, it is a simple way to present these forms to the general public with a name that, for many, is both comprehensible and relatable.

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