Dawn Behind the Dawn: A Search for the Earthly Paradise

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9780805026641: Dawn Behind the Dawn: A Search for the Earthly Paradise
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Offers proof that advanced cultures existed in Europe before the immigration of Eastern peoples, and focuses on myths and rituals that point to their existence

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From Kirkus Reviews:

A lively, scholarly detective story in which Ashe (The Discovery of King Arthur, 1985, etc.) turns his inquisitive eye on the possible truth of a prehistoric Golden Age. The conviction that a paradise existed in ages past is such a tenacious one in many religious traditions (as well as in legend and folklore) that Ashe suggests there may indeed be a ``missing link'' from our current accounts of the origins of civilization and culture. Tentatively refuting the traditional assumption that the cultures of the Middle East and Mycenae filtered northward into ``barbaric'' Europe and North Asia, Ashe instead suggests that at least one major seedbed may have existed in the northern Altai mountain range near the intersection of Mongolia, the USSR, and China. What began as a collection of Stone Age hunters and gatherers may have developed (according to scant evidence dating back to as far as 24,000 B.C.) into a society of horse herders who maintained a rough state of intersexual balance; worshipped nature via shamans likely to be female; sifted the Siberian sands for gold for sacred objects; and formed a center of artistic and religious diffusion that would eventually drift southward to influence the Greek and Israelite cultures and perhaps even Native American religious customs. As Ashe points out, this ancient society may have inspired such concepts as, among others, the idea of a ``sacred mountain to the north,'' the ``magic'' properties of the number seven, the sacred symbolism of the bear, and the Altaic Goddess herself, who may have been the model for the Greeks' Artemis. ``This discussion is not a conclusion,'' Ashe says, ``it is a challenge.'' Nevertheless, he makes an intriguing case for an Altaic paradise. (Sixteen illustrations--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

In recent years, there has been considerable reexamination of prehistoric artifacts in terms of a feminist or woman-centered perspective arguing that pre-patriarchal societies were peaceful, matrifocal societies. This book continues the debate. Ashe examines a variety of themes: the belief in a golden age where harmony and peace flouirished; the belief that there was an Ancient Wisdom that has been lost, discarded, or degraded; the power of shamanism, treated in a particularly interesting chapter; and the cross-cultural regard for numbers. This well-researched book draws on the writings of mainstream archaelogy as well as those of modern goddess worshippers. Appropriate for large libraries where there is interest in prehistory, archaelogy, and goddess worship.
-Gail Wood, Montgomery Coll. Lib., Germantown, Md.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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