Women in History I: Mother Goddess

It has been argued that there is little evidence of gender inequality in Palaeolithic (early Stone Age) cultures and that a reason for at least some measure of equality was the role of women in acquiring food for the community (L Stavros Stavrianos, A Global History From Prehistory to the Present, Prentice Hall, 1991). The apparent rise of male domination in the Neolithic period (latter part of the Stone Age) is widely associated with male monopolisation of the hunting role as societies moved towards greater domestication. Thus, this statuette of the woman as maternal, and its representation of domesticated leopards would appear to be a relatively powerful expression of woman’s status, whilst simultaneously alluding to woman’s place away from the hunting sphere. A powerful explanation for this statuette from Catal Huyuk, Turkey is that during the Neolithic revolution religious belief became concerned with reproduction and fertility.


新石器時代に入り、男性優位の社会が顕著になり、これは家畜農業が広く発展し始め、狩猟は独占的に男性の役割となったことに関連があります。この写真はトルコ、アナトリアのCatal Huyukで発掘された女性の彫像で、出産する過程を表しています。飼いならされた豹が両側に座し、狩猟ではなく、女性独特の社会的役割、地位を示唆するかのように、女性のパワーが感じられる作品です。この彫像は Mother Goddess 母なる女神と呼ばれていますが、新石器時代に起こった宗教的な思想は、女性の再生能力、豊饒性、と関連つけられるようになったということが、この女性像から伺えます。