Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Mistress of the Lionesses

ScienceDaily (2009-04-11) -- The legend is that the great rulers of Canaan, the ancient land of Israel, were all men. But a recent dig by archaeologists at Tel Beth-Shemesh uncovered possible evidence of a mysterious female ruler.
I don't know why it's so hard for people to believe that women may have had more of a say in the ancient world than they have under modern, male-centered religions such as Christianity. If you look at the evidence of goddess worship in pre-Christian times in the ancient Near East, it doesn't become much of a stretch that women may have held leadership positions, not only in government but in religion as well. If everyone was worshiping a female as the creator of the universe, who by the way was usually depicted as being very good in battle, it stands to reason they didn't think poorly of their own mortal sisters, mothers and daughters.

If you take into account the stories of the Greeks, who insisted there were Amazons who guarded their own temples and fought against invaders, and the burials that archaeologists have found in Turkey of women buried with items associated with warrior or military burials, including spears, armor and even chariots, and whose bones show evidence of battle and of riding horses, it seems reasonable to suppose that a woman may have ruled in Canaan. It may well be, that there was more than one even. Absence of evidence, is not evidence of absence.

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