The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe
Myths and Cult images
New and Updated Edition
304 Blz., ISBN 0 520 04655 2
University of California Press, 1982, reprinted 1996
European civilization between 6500 and 3500 B.C. - long before Greek or Judaeo-Christian civilizations
flourished - was not a provincial reflection of neighboring Near Eastern cultures but a distinct culture
with its own unique identity. The mythical imagery of this matrilinear era tells us much about early
humanity´s concepts of the cosmos, of human relations with nature, of the complementary roles of
male and female. Through study of sculpture, vases, and other cult object from southeastern Europe,
Gimbutas sketches the village culture that evolved there before it was overwelmed by the patriarchal
Indo-Europeans. The Goddess incarnating the creative principle as Source and Giver of All, fertility
images, mythical animals, and other artifacts are analyzed for their mythic and social significance
in this beautifully illustrated study.
The late Marija Gimbutas was Professor of European Archeology at the University of California, Los Angeles,
and Curator of Old World Archaeology at the UCLA Museum of Cultural History.
"This splendidly illustrated book brings together an archaeological documentation hardly to be found elsewhere."
Mircea Eliade, in History of Religions
"This is the first time that the fascinating figurine art of the Neolithic and Copper Ages has been
treated extensively and in English. ... Professor Gimbutas is to be congratulated on having collected such
a varied and exciting body of material, which represents a truly enviable amount of research, involving
a great deal of traveling, and a search of little-known publications in several languages." - Antiquity
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