By Anthony Bonanno

The papers during this quantity derive from the 1st overseas convention on Archaeology of the traditional Mediterranean (Malta, 1985). the sphere continues to be divided among the view assisting the lifestyles of a common trust in an all-pervading and all-embracing mom Goddess – of which the fertility cult is only one, albeit very important, point – and the view wondering the very bases of that conception. This convention confirmed that there appears to be like a better disposition for additional discussion. The fertility content material in close to japanese and Classical religions is still undeniable. The convention proved to be additionally, no longer by accident, of designated importance to Maltese archaeology. the quantity is split into 4 sections: part I. Prehistory; part II. Prehistory, Malta; part III. Phoenician and close to jap Religions; part IV. The Greco-Roman international.

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The mere fact that Old Europe was agricultural and may have emphasized femal e fertilit y goddesse s associate d wit h the earth does not by itself mean that women would have had high status. Many simpl e horticultura l societie s recogniz e Eart h Mother s an d associate th e seed s wit h males , for exampl e i n Uganda , th e Indies, Italy, Borneo , the Ew e of Africa , th e Orinoco an d Jívaro of South 26 America, Egypt, Finland. However, the status of women is often low in the simplest of these societies, such as those of the Amazon Basin and Highland New Guinea, where women are taken in raids and carry out the mos t laboriou s wor k o f th e household .

The strateg y nee d no t b e conscious (p. 74). An ESS is theoretically defined as a strategy which, if most member s o f a populatio n adop t it , canno t b e bettere d b y a n alternative strategy . The essentia l implicatio n i s tha t th e bes t strateg y fo r an y individual wil l depend o n wha t strategie s ar e adopted b y all the othe r 34 individuals i n the group. A s the grou p consist s o f individual s eac h o f whom i s tryin g t o maximiz e hi s ow n success , th e onl y permanen t strategy will be one which cannot be bested by any anarchic individual.

O n th e on e hand , she acknowledges that the god representations are "stimulators" without which nothing will grow. This is used to explain the phallic obsession of th e Nea r East , Anatolia , an d Ol d Europ e sinc e Natufia n time s (Gimbutas: 216). She even refers to the bull as an "invigorator" (ibid: 91). On the other hand, Gimbutas argues that the Great Goddess was androgynyously al l powerful , tha t she created everything out of her own powers, that phallicism was cathartic rather than erotic, and that Neolithic peoples did not understand the biology of conception (ibid: 196, 237).

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