Friday, February 8, 2008

Ancient Pro-feminism

A couple of articles caught my attention today, focusing on the role of the feminine persona in historical times.

Royal Goddesses of a Bronze Age State by Marco Merola
According to this article, in the city of Ebla (Syria) " .... archaeologist Paolo Matthiae's team discovered two almost perfectly preserved figurines that confirm textual evidence for a royal cult of the dead focused on the city's queens." This cult of worship of the feminine deity occurred during the Bronze Age.

"Both figurines are intricate representations of women, which are rare in Near Eastern Bronze Age art. One, made of steatite and wood, is depicted with her arms arranged in a gesture indicating prayer. The second figurine holds a goblet and wears an ornate gold dress. Both seem to have been used in a ritual mentioned in a tablet from Ebla that describes how the city's dead queens became female deities who were then worshiped privately by their successors. Matthiae suspects the steatite figure depicts a living queen who would have prayed to the gold-covered figurine, itself a representation of a dead queen who had become a goddess."

You can read the rest of this article and glimpse the two figurines at the "From the Trenches" website.

She crucified her enemies and burnt London to the ground. Meet Britain's first feminist, Boadicea by Paul Johnson
A great introduction to one of ancient Briton's most feared warriors. Though Dio's quote with regards to the Iceni led uprising is a tad harsh: " ..... a
ll this ruin was brought about by a woman". However, we know that had the Romans been a little bit more subtle in their dealings with those they conquered, their Empire might remained intact for a while longer.

"We should not be surprised by this portrayal of her as a "baddie". Throughout history, one person's hero has been another's villain." says Johnson.

The rest of Paul Johnson's article can be read here on the "Daily Mail" website.

Edit: Saturday 9th February 2008
A couple more articles came to my attention today, so I'll add them below.

Sumaria's Mona Lisa
An article published in Gulf News reports on the re-discovery of this ancient artifact:

"The 'Sayedat Al Warkaa', a Sumarian 20cm facial curving, known among archaeologists as the Sumarian Mona Lisa, and which is more than 5000 years old, was found in a garden after the police and occupation forces received a report."

The rest of this short article can be read at Gulf News.

Ancient Queen's Tomb Discovered in Ibb by Mohammed al-Kibsi
From this article posted on 19th January 2008:

"Three tombs believed to date back to the Hemiriate dynasty have been discovered in the al-Usaibyah area of the al-Sadda district of Ibb last week.

The tombs housed three women, one of them believed to be a queen. Local sources from al-Sadda confirmed that golden jewels were found in the tomb, believed to be for a queen or a princess. Other jewels were found in the other two tombs. In addition, a bronze spear was found in a second tomb and a 70 centimeter sword in a third tomb. "

Dr. Abdullah Ba-Wazir, head of the General Authority of Antiquities and Museums, said: "that the site is a royal grave built in an artistic style indicating that the grave is of an important political person, presumably a woman. It may belong to the Himiriat period."

The rest of this article can be viewed at the Yemen Observer website.

1 comment:

Sherry said...

I just found your blog yesterday. What a great one it is. I hope you stick with it! It's time to educate a few men in the world!