Lost world of Old Europe at the Ashmolean

The program in Oxford was very packed however I fastly managed to sneak into a museum. Thus before I go to Goettingen I fastly post some recommendation for a fantastic exhibition which is currently at the Ashmolean in Oxford called the “Lost world of Old Europe”.

a female thing?


embossed gold sheet

LT21-IMG_8502-450architectural model about 6000 years ago

LT15-IMG_8464-450 Haute couture about 6000 years ago

Braids and tangles about 6000 years ago

LT17-IMG_8548-450copper chain

Due to the exhaustive presentation of females the culture of old Europe has been suspected to have had a strong matriarchic component. By about 3100 BC all of the known settlements along the lower Danube river and eastern Bulgaria however seemed to had been abandoned and even burned. The following population was more mobile and showed no interests for architecture and female figurines.
From the text at the exhibition:

“What happened to the tell cultures of Old Europe? One interpretation suggests a war of the genders in which a patriarchal, horse-riding, Indo-European-speaking nomadic herders invaded from the arid steppes of southern Ukraine and destroyed a peaceful world of female-centered Goddess worship. This argument however is idealized – in fact many villages were fortified, weapons were buried with men and adult men had the riches graves. An Old European female-centered world of peace, therefore, probably never existed.”


There exists all sorts of other explanations, one wild guess which came to my mind is a poison which was distributed secretely (see below) and which killed a population.

Big jar that could have – in my mind- contained a poison that was worse than ever.

supplement 21st august 2019: There is an interesting article about Danube settlements in Lepinski Vir of around 8000 years ago:
An Archaeological Puzzle on the Danube by James Gorman.

Unique sculptures date from the historical moment when two peoples and two cultures met on the banks of a section of the river, now known as the Iron Gates.

The article contains amazing pictures of head sculptures.

3 Responses to “Lost world of Old Europe at the Ashmolean”

  1. Doctor Simpson Says:

    This kind of spirals on that big jar may indicate that this jar was for a liquit, but why do you think it could have contained a poison?

  2. pingo Says:

    I’ve never seen before a figurine with a bowl as a head. The figurine in the first image though looks more like a human figure with an ovine head, which reminds me of Hathor, just instead of an ovine top there is a bull horn.

  3. pingo Says:

    Some of the figurines seem though to look more like the aliens themselves, then like Hathor or Ra… ;)

    Anyways if you are interested in Danube culture you may want to read this.

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