View Full Version : Marija Gimbutas, the Indo-Europeans and the Goddess-Oriented Religions

Sunday, November 7th, 2004, 02:19 AM
I have been reading a book titled Lost Civilizations of the Stone Age, by Richard Rudley, and in this book, he mentiones a theory of an archaeologist named Marija Gimbutas. Has anyone ever studied any of her stuff and what are your thoughts on it? I am not a feminist in any way, but her theories were interesting to me only because I have not previously heard them before. If you have not previously heard of her, I have taken time to google search some websites on her. Here is a short bio from the first one:

"Through an understanding of what the Goddess was, we can better understand nature and we can build our ideologies so that it will be easier for us to live."

With Marija Gimbutas (http://www.echonyc.com/~mysticfire/NIGimbutas.html)

Marija Gimbutas is largely responsible for the resurgence of interest in Goddess-oriented religions. Her discoveries were the foundation for Riane Eisler (http://www.levity.com/mavericks/el-int.htm) 's (whom we interviewed in our first volume) highly influential book, The Chalice and the Blade (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN=0062502891/mavericofthemindA/). For fifteen years, Marija was involved with excavations in southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean, which revealed the existence of a prehistoric Goddess-oriented culture. For at least 25, 000 years this peaceful civilization seemingly practiced complete equal rights between the sexes--socially, politically, and spiritually. As Riane Eisler pointed out, the full implications of this discovery have yet to be fully realized by the scientific community, or by society at large.

Born in Lithuania during a time when 50 percent of the population was still pagan, Gimbutas fled to Austria because of the war. In Vilnius, Lithuania, and later in Vienna, Innsbruck, and Tubingen, she studied linguistics, archaeology, and Indo-European cultures, obtaining her doctorate in Tubingen, Germany in 1946. In 1950, as an expert in eastern European archaeology, she became a research fellow at Harvard, where she remained for twelve years. In 1963 she came to UCLA, where she served as emeritus professor of European archaeology for many years. She is the author of more than twenty books, including well-known works such as The Language of the Goddess, The Civilization of the Goddess, and Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe.

We interviewed Marija at her beautiful mountain home--which overflowed with big-breasted wide-hipped goddess figurines and other archaeological artifacts--in Topanga Canyon, California an October 3, 1992. When Marija died on February 2, 1994, we felt very sad bur also fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend time with her before she departed Even though she battled lymphatic cancer for many years, Marija was vitally alive and active right up until the very end. On June 27, 1993, the Frauen Museum in Wiesbaden, Germany dedicated to her an extensive exhibit, "The Language of the Goddess," and she was there to receive the honor

After spending much of her life in relative academic obscurity, Marija Seemed to be genuinely surprised to discover how popular she had become. For all her accomplishments, she was always humble and gracious. Marija had an incredibly warm, sprite-like spirit, lively eyes, and a way of making you feel very comfortable around her She appeared delicate and graceful, yet Jilled with strength. There was something timeless about Marija, for she was a woman of many times and places, and the Goddess seemed to shine right through her.



Sunday, November 7th, 2004, 06:10 AM
The only modern analogue of a mother-centered culture I can think of without patriarchal elements is African-American culture, where men are unreliable or absent as fathers, and women raise families and are the center of the community. Perhaps Goddess-centered prehistoric Mediterranean civilizations were similar, if they existed.

Dr. Solar Wolff
Monday, November 8th, 2004, 05:16 AM
I am sorry to learn of her death, I had no idea. She was a Professor of mine at UCLA in 1969 or 1970. She headed the Indo-European Studies Department at that time. I took a course titled something like The European Bronze Age. She aided me in having this course credited to my "related social sciences" requirement instead of having to take another course in Sociology. She had lots of great thoughts which were really encyclopedic in number and she could talk on any one of them at the drop of a pin. Everyone liked her.