I. GODDESS RELIGIONS IN THE OLD WORLD
A. Gravettian-Aurignacian Cultures (25000 BC-15000 BC) 1. The Upper-Paleolithic period, though most of its sites have been found in Europe, is the conjectural foundation of the religion of the Goddess as it emerged in the later Neolithic Age of the Near East. a. There have been numerous studies of Paleolithic cultures, explorations of sites occupied by these people, and the apparent rites connected with the disposal of their dead. b. In these Upper-Paleolithic societies, the concept of the creator of all human life may have been formulated by the clan's image of women, who were their most ancient primal ancestors. (1) It is believed that the mother was regarded as the sole
parent of children in this culture. (2) Ancestor worship appears to have been the basis of sacred rituals and ancestry is believed to have been reckoned through the matriline. (a) The beginnings of Roman religion were based on survivals of the Etruscan culture and ancestor worship was the earliest form of religion in Rome. (b) Even today, the Jewish people determine who is and is not a Jew through the matriline. 2. The most tangible evidence supporting the theory that these cultures worshipped a Goddess is the numerous sculptures of women found throughout most of Europe and the Near East. Some of these sculptures date as far back as 25,000 BC. a. These small female figurines, made of stone, bone, and clay, most of which are seemingly pregnant, have been found throughout the widespread Gravettian-Aurignacian sites in areas as far apart as Spain, France, Germany, Austria, and Russia. (1) These sites and figurines appear to span a period of at least 10,000 years.
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