Controversy over Pre-History Interpretations
Dr. Gimbutas claimed peaceful Old European communities that worshipped a Mother Goddess had been invaded and violently overcome by patriarchal tribes who honored a Father-Creator. She called this the Kurgan Theory. This conclusion was thought to be incorrect by some archeologists and religious leaders who publically questioned her findings. Even though other academics and theologians did agree with her hypothesis and thought it should be considered, her detractors were able to get this point of view removed from academic curricula and ignored in theological discussions.
Now it has been confirmed by DNA testing that the sky-god worshipping Kurgans did in fact invade the cultures of Old Europe. Dr. Colin Renfrew, a pre-eminent archeologist from the University of Cambridge, England, gave a lecture at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago last fall about Marija Gimbutas. Once one of Gimbutas’ greatest critics, Prof. Renfrew now proclaims that this new DNA evidence vindicates her work, at least in this key aspect of the invasions. This is important because these findings encourage the reconsideration of all of Dr. Gimbutas’ work. You can see his lecture by clicking Prof. Colin Renfrew’s lecture about Marija Gimbutas.
Joan Marler, editor of Gimbutas’ important second book The Civilization of the Goddess: The World of Old Europe is the founder of the Institute of Archaeomythology which has published a wealth of information about this work. She explains the importance of Gimbutas’ theory of Kurgan invasions in her article. To read it, click The Kurgan Theory .
Marler makes this summary statement: “By defining Old Europe as the foundation of European civilization, and hypothesizing the beginnings of patriarchy as a later phenomenon, simultaneous with the Indo-Europeanization of the continent, Gimbutas’ Kurgan Theory challenges the doctrine of universal male dominance that has functioned as the origin story of Western civilization.”