By George Peter Gatsis
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Extra resources for Art of History on Jesus
12 on Sat Oct 06 07:13:40 BST 2012. 003 Cambridge Books Online © Cambridge University Press, 2012 Interpreting Ancient Figurines and nude. Sexually female based on breasts, belly, and hip form, they depict young women of reproductive age. Associated themes include lack of arms and a visual emphasis on the head involving diverse hairstyles and naturalistic attention to faces (see Figure 7). The second set of representations (17 percent of the assemblage) consists of obese, anthropomorphic figures.
33 Marcus’s explanation for why figurines from Formative Oaxaca (Mexico) are female is a by-for-and-about-women argument, even though she emphasizes the idea that figurines represented ancestors: According to Marcus, male ancestors are rarely depicted because women made the figurines. 34 These observations clarify the end product that might result from a successful effort to identify a worldwide explanation for femaleness among prehistoric figurines. A common explanation would account for only a small part of what there is to be explained about any particular collection.
Gimbutas was a creative synthesizer who assembled staggering quantities of data and yet saw through the details to a bigger picture beyond. 20 Gimbutas’s synthesis was something of a mirror image of androcentric figurine scholarship. She replaced male bias with female bias, envisioning a peaceful, egalitarian, woman-centered epoch in the prehistory of the Eastern Mediterranean and Southeastern Europe, brought to an end by invasions of warlike, patriarchal hordes from the Russian steppes. This work struck a chord in feminist thought far outside archaeology.