Archaeology and Fertility Cult in the Ancient Mediterranean: by Anthony Bonanno

By Anthony Bonanno

The papers during this quantity derive from the 1st foreign 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, element – and the view wondering the very bases of that thought. This convention confirmed that there seems 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, now not by accident, of distinct value 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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Sample text

However , sh e canno t avoi d it s stron g associatio n wit h Ol d European representation s o f mal e phalli , horns , an d ithyphalli c figures. She overtly refers to the snake as representing a "stimulating" force (ibid: 95) . The meaning o f snakes is thus at least ambiguous in Gimbutas' presentation. If we were to take a psychoanalytic approach, snakes woul d clearl y b e masculin e forces . Takin g a comparativ e religious approach , Eliade (1976:397-9) note s tha t snake s ofte n ar e associated with the moon due to the cyclical shedding of their skins and disappearance int o the earth.

And as we hav e see n abov e th e sam e strateg y wa s applie d a t th e leve l of th e local grou p i n time s o f bot h over-and under-population . b) Explaining the differences of figurine design Sculptured figurine s o f th e fertilit y god s an d goddesse s see m t o exhibit mor e differences i n shape , siz e an d desig n tha n similarities . I shall argue tha t th e differences ar e not significant. Variatio n i n design does not matter, since the function o f the figurine i s to call attention to the requirement s o f th e geneti c imperativ e i n creatin g a stabl e replicational strategy.

Man , th e replicator, encourage s (an d th e rulin g elite s exploit ) fertilit y cult s which exis t t o optimis e o r maximis e populatio n relativ e t o surviva l conditions. Th e objectiv e i s to stres s seasona l behaviou r require d fo r birth causation . Animal s ar e subjec t t o copyin g error s i n th e transmission o f cultural messages. Any message can be miscopied. The divergent semantic s an d symbolis m ca n b e explaine d a s copyin g errors. Friedrich using th e concep t o f "liminality " cite s list s o f opposing semanti c markers , suc h as : asceticism/stron g sexuality ; verbal purity / obscenity; foolishness / wisdom; nakedness / special costumes; a s feature s o f seasona l goddesses .

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