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ANAHITA  July 1998

ANAHITA July 1998

Subject:

Re: Interpretation is Central (was: Get A Load Of This Outrage!)

From:

Max Dashu <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Women and Gender in the Ancient World <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 6 Jul 1998 19:48:13 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (57 lines)

Thank you, Shiela. My reaction was much the same as yours: that the
ideological ramifications would be at least as great as the threat of a ban
on excavating sites which might include graves. Discussion (and pictures!)
of the female figures have been hard enough to come by as it is. I've seen
some in the Rockefeller museum in Jerusalem (no pictures allowed) that
don't ever seem to appear in mainstream books or articles. The pictures
that are published are often black and white, small, poor quality.

Only recently have I found a book with good color reproductions of these
teraphim (yes, I'll make that leap -- it's far preferable to "fertility
idols") but it hardly discusses them. (_The Archaeology of Ancient Israel_,
ed by Amnon Ben-Tor, Yale, 1992) It has a couple photos of the really
ancient Natufian figurines from Munhata and a beautiful plate of the clay
altar from Ta'anach, bedizened with reliefs of animals and a little goddess
or priestess with upraised arms between two lionesses.

>In this field, interpretation is an enormous part of the data of any dig.
>Think of the decades in which female figures have been turning up by the
>hundreds in a supposedly monotheistic context.  Pritchard wrote his
>dissertation on Palestinian Female Figures, in perhaps the late '20s.  Two or
>three years ago ASOR held an evening on them in Chicago.  But only at last
>year's AAR/SBL meeting was there a paper on the presence of home altars in
>Judean households.  (I'm away for the summer & cannot give you names & haven't
>found this great paper yet on my floppies).

When you return, it would great if you could summarize its highlights.
Again, the context of these finds is underdiscussed, and most important.

> Now, what if these digs were in the hands of an ultra-Orthodox,
>anti-Israel, anti-secular one or two percent of the voters in Israel?
>What if they were in the hands of mullahs?
>Sheila Shiki y Michaels

Full disclosure has been slow enough in coming with the "secular" scholars
(I put that in quotes for a reason) without having the gates slammed shut.


Max Dashu

Suppressed Histories Archives           email: [log in to unmask]
                                PO Box 3511 Oakland CA 94609 USA
                >>>International Women's Studies, founded 1970<<<

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