Anatolian Mother Goddes, Çatal höyük (6000 BC)
Mother Goddes – China
Queen Mother of the West Xiwangmu, earthenware,
second century, Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD)
This paper discusses forms of a ‘Great Mother’ goddess as she evolved in prehistoric and early historic Anatolia, her movements throughout Asia Minor, her transmission to Greece and Rome, and her worship thence throughout the ancient world. It also addresses the controversy of how and whether the Phrygian and later Greco-Roman goddess Cybele is connected to the Anatolian Kubaba mentioned in Hittite texts and later worshipped in Carchemish.
Through my translations of Hittite, Phrygian, Greek and Roman texts I try to explicate the relationship of the Anatolian Kubaba and Phrygian, Greek, and Roman Cybele.
In pre-Neolithic and Neolithic Anatolia there were several cultures to which belong female figurines associated with felines. The earliest carved on rock in an area between pillars containing depictions of felines. The double mound of Çatal höyük, 45 kilometers south of modern Konya, dates from the eighth to the sixth millennia BC.
Although the Kybileian Mountain Mother may not be related linguistically to the earlier Kubaba, the iconography of female figure, feline, throne, and mural crown links Kubaba to the Hittite Great Goddess, the sun-goddess of Arinna, or Hebat, depicted as a Mistress of Animals and as mother of the gods; the feline links her to several pre historic cultures of Anatolia. Thus there is continuity of a “Great Mother” figure accompanied by lions from pre-Neolithic Anatolia through the first centuries of this era.