Many of us, along with Marija Gimbutas, believed her work would eventually be vindicated. We are the cognitive minority, waiting for the rest of the world to catch up to many ideals of the Sacred Feminine, including the work of scholar, Marija Gimbutas. Tune in tonight as I discuss this wonderful and long awaited development with elders and scholars, Carol Christ and Miriam Robbins Dexter.
In the words of Carol, "The disdain with which the work of archaeologist Marija Gimbutas has been held in the field of classics and archaeology was shown to me when I started quietly at a cocktail party at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens that I was interested in her work. This comment, tentatively offerred, onleashed a tirade from a young female archaeologist who began shouting at me: "Her work unscholarly and because it is, it is harder for me and other women scholars in the field to be taken seriously." (From the Feminism and Religion blog)
If you're new to this subject, we'll start at the beginning, briefly discussing Marija's findings and why male dominated academia for so long discredited her work, followed by this new revelation by Lord Colin Renfrew, allied with the British Conservative Party. We'll discuss the politics of this situation as well as other peripheral areas in which this new revelation will no doubt have a domino effect.
From Joan Marler, Carol Christ and Max Dashu
Colin Renfrew has conceded that Marija Gimbutas was right about the origins of Indo-European culture, in a talk "Marija Rediviva: DNA and Indo-European Origins" at the Oriental Institute. Renfrew was a (if not the!) leading opponent of Gimbutas' proposal that the neolithic kurgan cultures of the Eurasian steppe had invaded what she termed Old Europe. He insisted that the Indo-Europeans originated in Anatolia and that they were the ones who spread agriculture into Europe, through the Balkans. Thus his position, known as the Anatolian hypothesis, has been that Old Europe was the creation of IE speakers. There were problems with this from the beginning, flagged by many linguists who noted that while Hittite, Luwian and similar IE languages are attested in Asia Minor for the 2nd millennium bce, they could not be the ancestral Proto-Indo-European, for phonological and lexical reasons. Hittite in particular is an outlier from the other IE languages.
Recent genomic studies (posted here several months ago) have vindicated Gimbutas' theory, showing that she was correct in positing a steppe origin for the Indo-European cultures, including the Corded Ware culture in northeast Europe. After suffering much ridicule in archaeological circles, she has been vindicated. Renfrew's own excavations in the Cycladic islands of Keros have confirmed her interpretation of ancient female icons, including the marble Cycladic ones, as religious in nature (not "toys" or "porn," as it has been fashionable to assert in archaeological circles). See comments for his statement on this. BTW, the "rediviva" of the title is Latin for "revived."
Video here, summarized thus: "Marija Gimbutas had a detailed knowledge of the archaeology of prehistoric Europe and of the cultures of ‘Old Europe’ with their rich iconography of goddesses and gods, which she viewed as overwhelmed at the onset of the Bronze Age by the Kurgan invasion, an incursion of a new population from the East European steppe lands, north of the Black Sea. This she saw as the key impetus which brought Old Europe to an end, and which introduced to Europe a new population speaking early Indo-European languages.
"The first Memorial Lecture will offer a critical review of the question of Indo-European language origins, and will highlight the contribution of one of the leading prehistorians of the twentieth century."
Thanks to Joan Marler, who was present at the lecture, and Carol Christ, who unearthed video of the lecture.
What Women are Saying about Her and the Goddess
I adore her!!! I was fortunate a few years ago to find in a pile of old magazines at a used book store A 1990 edition of the magazine Woman of Power. Our beloved Z Budapest is listed on the advisory council of this magazine. The issue I found was Faces of the Goddess - incredible. There is a fabulous interview of Marija Gimbutas and lots of drawings of Goddess figures - published before her death in 1994. I really treasure it. One of the videos, # 4 on you tube spoke of the 5000 women folk songs she collected documenting the oral tradition of Lithuania - and it's connection with the Goddess and the earth ... I didn't know this about her. I wonder if she has published in any of her books, words of the songs? Peace and Love ~ Heather
Signs Out of Time
Starhawk and Donna Reed produced a movie, Signs Out of Time, that chronicled the life and work of Marija Gimbutas. You can get your own copy or go to our Videos page to view the film. More information from the film is available on Belili Productions website.
Did Z Budapest and Marija Gimbutas know each other?
Z and Marija were very good friends who greatly admired each other. At the end of her life, Marija phoned Z and told Z about her cancer and her pain. She's said that the first healing that was done one her had helped, but that now the pain was far worse. Marija was tired and hurting. The healers were coming to do another healing on her, but Marija told Z ... I don't want it.
Z bluntly said, Then don't my darling. You have done the work you came here to do. It's okay to go now. You can lay it down and rest.
Marija said to her dear friend, You're the only one who's said that to me. Thank you. I have to go now and rest.
They said their good-byes for the last time. Marija passed the next day. It was hard for Z to say those words to someone she loved so much, but as priestess sometimes we must do these things. She cried as she said it.