WOMEN ONCE RULE
BY WILLIAM BOND
In recent years archaeologists have increasingly found more and more evidence of the possibility of a Matriarchal age in the past. Yet we do not hear about this in either the mainstream media or in the alternative press. Yet if what is being discovered now is true, we will have to re-write ancient history and rethink what is the true nature of human beings. What archaeologists are now discovering suggests that in the stone age we were not the savage brutes as portrayed in academic speculation, but were in fact peace loving people who worshipped an ancient deity called the Great Mother. Recent archaeological evidence shows that the history of war and violence only began long after civilization got started.
The concept that women once ruled the world in ancient times is nothing new. It originated from a scholar called J.J Bachofen (1) in the 19th century. He brought together all the evidence of matriarchy in ancient times then available. He was strongly criticized for this by other scholars who dismissed and discredited his work. Yet in spite of this, his work was to inspire the scholar James Frazer to write his famous book, "The Golden Bough". It also influenced Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels who publicly praised Bachofen's work. Also the famous psychologist Carl Jung developed from it the theory that the ancient Great Mother was an important archetype in the collective unconscious. (2) In spite of the condemnation of Bachofen the controversy wouldn't go away. Other scholars in the early 20th century wrote about matriarchy - Robert Briffault,(3) Jane Harrison (4) and Dr Margaret Murray.(5) But this argument was kept very much within academic circles. Then in the 1940s the poet Robert Graves wrote his book, "The White Goddess" which was the first attempt to bring this argument to the general public, even though it was quite a complex book. Then on the wave of the feminist movement of the 1960s and 70s feminist scholars like Merlin Stone (6) and Barbara G. Walker (7) continued to dig deep into history to find more evidence of matriarchy in ancient times.
After the second world war archaeologists started to make finds that were supporting the idea that there was a matriarchal age in the past. This evidence was again dismissed by academics, but feminist writers like Elizabeth Gould Davis (8) were brave enough to claim that women did once rule the world. Riane Eisler (9) kept strictly to feminist dogma and claimed that in the matriarchal age the sexes were equal. But the biggest change in recent years is of archaeological evidence that supports the ancient Golden Age myth. That has been written about in ancient Greek Legend, by the Taoist Chinese, and even in the Bible in the story of the Garden of Eden which comes from a Mesopotamian Golden Age legend. In fact most ancient cultures all over the world have a Golden Age myth of some kind.
Up until recently modern academics have rejected these legends as pure myth. Not only do they sound too good to be true, but recorded history shows a different story. It seems that the further you go back in history the more brutal and violent, men seem to behave. For instance to see gladiators fighting to death as a sport as in the Roman games would be unacceptable in every society today, though it has to be admitted we still see war, genocide and torture in our modern world. So it has been assumed by archaeologists and scholars that people in pre-historic times must of been even more brutal than people in historic times. The only findings that contradicted this were Palaeolithic cave art, found in France and Spain, which was so well executed that it undermined the belief that Stone Age people were ignorant brutes (10). In fact Archaeologists at first refused to believe that these paintings could possibly be made by Stone Age people, and it was only modern dating techniques that convinced them. Also the amount of feminine images found in both Stone-age and Neolithic sites showed that Stone age people may have other things on their mind other than violence. But academics dismissed these finds as being part of a fertility cult and never took them seriously. During the second half of the 20th century archaeologists dug more and more into Neolithic sites and too much feminine imagery was being found to be lightly dismissed. And they began to find evidence that turned the idea that we were brutal savages in pre-historic times, on its head.
In the 1960s a archaeologists called Mellaart lead a team to excavate a site in Anatolia in Turkey. This site turn out to be the oldest city ever discovered (11). Called Catal Huyuk it goes back over 9,000 years. What was discovered goes against all assumptions archaeologist have about people living in Neolithic times. They couldn't find any fortifications to defend the city nor any weapons of war. Neither could they find signs of violence committed on people buried in graves. It was also a city full of feminine imagery to the degree that Mellaart was forced to say that the people worshipped the Ancient Great Mother.
So unsettling was these discoveries that the site was closed down for thirty years and the academic world ignored the implications of this find. Because the prevailing view was that the first civilizations were created by warrior tribal leaders who conquered other tribes and then had to build fortifications and organize the people to defend themselves. So to have the oldest city ever discovered that didn't have any sign of fortifications, weapons of war or signs of violence greatly contradicted this theory. As in many cases in science when new facts opposed a very popular and fashionable theory then it was the facts that are ignored until enough facts are produced to make the fashionable theory untenable. So most academics chose to ignore this find except one archaeologist, Mariji Gimbutas, who was brave enough to challenge the accepted wisdom of the academic world.
She was to say boldly:
"Archaeologists and historians have assumed that civilization implies a hierarchical political and religious organization, warfare, a class stratification, and a complex division of labour. This pattern is indeed typical of androcratic (male dominated) societies such as Indo-European but does not apply to the gynocentric (mother/women-centred) cultures described in this book. The civilisation that flourished in Old Europe between 6500 and 3300 BC and in Crete until 1450 BC enjoyed a long period of uninterrupted peaceful living which produced artistic expression of graceful beauty and refinement, demonstrating a higher quality of life than many androcratic classed societies." (12)
The late Marija Gimbutas was digging in another Neolithic sites in Achilleion, Thessaly in Greece and also found finds, of feminine imagery and no sign of violence and warfare. In her books and scientific papers she highlighted the Neolithic findings that archaeologists had made at Lepenski Vir and Vlasac in Northern Yugoslavia, as well as the Neolithic findings by Soviet scientists in Bulgaria, Romania, Moldavia, and the Western Ukraine. Western archaeologist had made similar finds in Crete, Cyprus, Thera, Sardinia, Sicliy and Malta, all showing peaceful societies that worshipped the Great Mother. Yet archaeologists chose to ignore these findings, because they contradicted the belief of the time that civilization was started by warrior leaders. It was only Gimbutas who was brave enough to take these finds seriously and she became a controversial figure.
Gimbutas work was for a long time forgotten and dismissed. But in more recent times other archaeologists made similar finds. In the excavation of Indus Valley civilization in Pakistan again archaeologists could find no signs violence or weapons of war (13). The same is true of Caral in Peru, the oldest city ever discovered in South America, going back to 5,000 years. Given the violent history of later South American civilizations with mass human sacrifice, archaeologists expected to find the same thing. But no matter how hard they looked they couldn't find any evidence of human sacrifice, warfare, fortifications or any other indication of violence. They had to conclude that this civilization existed in peace for thousands of years. It seems that Caral wasn't just a isolated city, as archaeologists found trading goods at this site from all over South America. Demonstrating it was the centre of a vast trading network that covered most of this continent, which suggested that not only did Caral lived in peace, but this was true for the whole of South America at the time. (14)
The overwhelming evidence of these findings have made more modern academics wonder if Mariji Gimutas might be right after all. Some archaeologists are now supporting her like Richard Rudgley in his book "Lost Civilizations Of The Stone Age", and his TV series "Secrets Of The Stone Age".
So what is the implication of these findings?
As Richard Rudgley points out 95% of existence as humans is in pre-historic times. Yet we know so little about this time. It is only from the tools, paintings and carvings found in excavations can we get an understanding of what life must of been like then. All carved and painted images of human beings found in the Stone-age are overwhelmingly images of women. What Marija Gimbutas shows is that most of these images celebrate the whole process of birth from the sex act to breast feeding. It seems in prehistoric times menstruation, the vagina, the sexual act, giving birth, and breast feeding was seen as something divine, holy and sacred. This is in contrast to historic times where menstruation became taboo and unclean in many societies. The sex act also become sinful and dirty. It was also claimed that children were born in sin because they were born of women, and even breast feeding become shameful, as even now many women are reluctant to breast feed in public.
This is supported by the findings of Gimbutas who showed that the downfall of many of the peaceful Goddess civilizations was caused by violent patriarchal tribes invading them from the north. So it suggests that it was the invention of war that ended the last Golden Age. Where the new rulers behaved like Mafia bosses in imposing a reign of terror on the people to control them, and started a protection racket that was in effect the first taxation, making the rulers extremely wealthy and forcing poverty onto the people. Now the population had to not only to work to feed and shelter themselves, but they had to work to feed the new rulers and their armies, as well as build them palaces and fortifications, and make arms and luxury goods. This is a clear case where men like Adam had to work by the sweat of their brow, while the new rulers encouraged men to disrespect women and turn them into slaves.
This is clearly seen in the contrast between the findings of the Neolithic age where we see a predominance of feminine images, and no evidence of warfare and violence. With the later iron age, where we find more than anything else images of war and violence, as well as the glorification of kings, rulers, conquest and wealth. Archaeologists in the iron age also find graves where people have clearly been put to death through violence. We also have the first myths of the hero who conquers other nations, as well as male gods who begin to lay down strict laws and punish those who dare to disobey them.
Now evidence of matriarchy doesn't only come from the past; the shocking fact is that the general public are completely unaware that there are matriarchal communities surviving into the present day. The biggest present-day matriarchy is The Minangkabau people in Western Sumatra, which numbers about 4 million people and is the largest and most stable Matriarchal community in the world (15). In China there are also Matriarchal communities (16, 17). In India there is a region called Kerala (18) which again is matriarchal and has a reputation of being a well run, stable and prosperous area. There is evidence of matriarchal communities that survived in Africa up until colonial times (19). There are even American Indian tribes that are still Matriarchal (20). I have been informed that there are over 150 matriarchal communities all over the world but you never hear about this in either the mainstream or alternative media.
If we are looking for a conspiracy we have to wonder why all these facts have been kept concealed and covered up for so long. From the time when Bachofen first put forward the idea that there once was a matriarchal age in the past it seems that the establishment has worked hard to conceal this fact - even to the degree of destroying archaeological sites. In Malta there is a large Neolithic Goddess temple. The first archaeology done on this temple was done by a Roman Catholic priest. His effort included rubbing off important and irreplaceable wall paintings from the temple walls, then digging up the temple floor and taking away all archaeological evidence, which has now mysteriously disappeared (21). This behaviour is not unusual. When the Christian Church or the state of Israel finance archaeological excavations in Israel, not surprizingly what they find fits in with what is written in the Bible. But excavations carried out by universities who do not have any affiliation to the Christian Church or the state find something completely different. For instance in the homes of ordinary Jews of two thousand years ago and older they find statues of Goddesses. The evidence is that the ordinary people of Israel were still worshipping the Goddess Asherah up until the Roman occupation.
Suppression of evidence to do with matriarchy and Goddess worship goes back even further than this (22).
Dr Margaret Murray did research on the witch hunts in medieval Europe. What she discovered wasn't that the witch hunts were started by hysteria as commonly believed, but was a ruthless campaign by the Christian Church to destroy a Goddess religion that still existed within the peasant class. Going back even further when both the Christian Church and later on the Moslems became state religions, the first thing they did was destroy as much as possible all ancient knowledge. As feminists scholars have pointed out their main targets have been Goddess Temples and female scholars of the time. It seems that from then on all evidence of a matriarchal age in the past has been suppressed or destroyed.
The reason for this is not hard to work out. If people in the last matriarchal age were worse off than people in historic times there wouldn't be a problem. Rulers in historic times could point to the fact that people are better off under their rule than people in the ancient past. But if the opposite is true then there is a real problem. If it become general knowledge that people in our matriarchal past were better off than people today then that would become political dynamite. People then would ask the obvious question,
"would we all be better off if we similar society as we had in Neolithic times?"
That would be a society that respected feminine values rather than masculine values (23). This could create a world- wide social revolution that would greatly undermine the power of our present ruling elite.
The ruling elite does have a good reason to suppress and destroy these facts. Graham Hancock recently has attempted to get archaeologists interested in the possibility that there are ancient cities under the sea that were flooded by the melting of the ice of the last ice age. He was greatly puzzled that these archaeologists showed no interest. But if the ruling elite are aware that more than likely these ancient cities were ruled by women they would have a good reason to not want archaeologists poking about these sites. Finding indisputable proof that women did once rule the world is political dynamite and could start a revolution that would sweep away the power of our present ruling establishment.
1. Bachofen, J.J. Myth, Religion And Mother Right
2. Gabon, W. Elinor The Once And Future Goddess
3. Briffault, Robert The Mothers
4. Harrison, Jane Prolegomena To The Study Of Greek Religion
5. Murray, Dr Margaret The Witch-Cult In Western Europe
6. Stone, Merlin When God Was A Woman
7. Walker, Barbara G. The Women's Encyclopaedia Of Myths And Secrets
8. Davis, Elizabeth Gould The First Sex
9. Eisler, Riane The Chalice And The Blade
10. Rudgeley, Richard Lost Civilisations Of The Stone Age
11. Mellaart J. Catal Huyuk: A Neolithic Town In Anatolia
12. Gimbutas, Marija The Civilisation Of The Goddess
13. Great Civilisations, The Indus (TV program)
14. Horizon, The Lost Pyramids Of Caral (TV progam)
15. Sanday, Peggy Reeves Women At The Center: Life In A Modern Matriarchy
16. Abendroth, Heide Göttner The Mosuo as a Living Matriarchal Society
17. Cai Hua A Society Without Fathers Or Husbands
19. Meyerowitz, Eve The Akan Of Ghana. The Sacred State Of The Akan
20. Tile, Karin E. Kuna Crafts, Gender And The Global Economy
21. Hancock, Graham Underworld: Flooded Kingdoms Of The Ice Age