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By Anthony Bonanno

The papers during this quantity derive from the 1st foreign convention on Archaeology of the traditional Mediterranean (Malta, 1985). the sphere is still divided among the view aiding the life of a common trust in an all-pervading and all-embracing mom Goddess – of which the fertility cult is only one, albeit vital, point – and the view wondering the very bases of that thought. This convention confirmed that there seems a better disposition for extra discussion. The fertility content material in close to japanese and Classical religions is still undeniable. The convention proved to be additionally, no longer by accident, of distinct importance to Maltese archaeology. the amount is split into 4 sections: part I. Prehistory; part II. Prehistory, Malta; part III. Phoenician and close to japanese Religions; part IV. The Greco-Roman international.

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Sample text

There are probably just as many phalli in the Paleolithic as there are Venuses. The few instances of visual double meanings can be accounted for in terms of artistic play and nothing more, just as such visual tricks appeal to psycholog y students , sculptors , an d joke-sho p clientel e today . Many of the long necks that Gimbutas sees in phallic terms also occur on figures o f male gods and can be found i n the sculptures of other cultures such as Africa. I t is worth considering that elongated necks may simpl y b e a widesprea d indicato r o f beauty .

A t bes t liminalit y can give tone to the description o f goddesses, who are themselves embedded i n fertilit y cult behaviours , an d contribut e t o a n ES S fo r tha t communit y o r tribe. d) Alternative views Attempts a t explainin g fertilit y cul t behaviou r a s primaril y religious i n nature must fail i f the basic explanation i s that given in (a) above. It might be possible to show that the idea of the mother goddess was centra l t o tha t development , a s i s argue d b y Jame s (1935 ) an d Gimbutas (1974).

Z . 1981 — Women... beasts, or 'Why can't a woman be more like a man', Numen 29:123-131. J . (Princeton University Press). 30 PHILOSOPHICAL PARADIGMS O F FERTILITY CULT INTERPRETATIONS : PHILOSOPHICAL PERSPECTIVE S O N SEASONAL GODDESSE S Zak van Straaten Why did fertility cults exist? What function did they have, if any? What ar e we to make of fertility cult figurines an d artefacts? Can the differences o f figurin e desig n b e explained? I s there a single unifyin g explanation of the fertility cult data?

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