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Title: Interpreting the Bucrania of Çatalhöyük: James Mellaart, Dorothy Cameron, and Beyond
Contributor(s): Relke, Joan Rosalind (author)
Publication Date: 2007
DOI: 10.2752/089279307X245455
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Abstract: The bucranium (bull's head and horns) has been recognized as the most prevalent three-dimensional art form found during the excavations of the Neolithic village of Çatalhöyük in central Turkey. James Mellaart interpreted it as the symbol of the son and lover of the Great Mother Goddess, worshipped at Çatalhöyük. Extending this interpretation, Dorothy Cameron, friend and colleague of Mellaart, saw the bucranium as a symbol of life and regeneration—essentially a female symbol, representing the divine power of the human female reproductive system. Using archaeological evidence, and interpretations arising from the current excavations at Çatalhöyük, parallel examples from comparative religion, and supportive data from veterinary images, this paper explicates and challenges these theories, extending them into an alternative interpretation of the symbolism of the bucranium.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Anthrozoos: a multidisciplinary journal of the interactions of people and animals, 20(4), p. 317-328
Publisher: Berg Publishers
Place of Publication: United Kingdom
ISSN: 0892-7936
Field of Research (FOR): 220407 Studies in Religious Traditions (excl Eastern, Jewish, Christian and Islamic Traditions)
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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