The earliest inhabitants of India worshipped a Mother Goddess and a horned fertility god. Godesses are also mentioned in the Rg Veda like Prthvi, Aditi, Usas, Rathri and Aranyani. While godesses are still worshipped in Indic religions, they have largely disappeared from the West after the arrival of the Abrahamic religions.
But this was not the case before; female worship was prevalent all around the world. Recently three such artifacts were found: in Turkey, in Golan and in Scotland.
The one in Golan, dated to 500 CE, was of Aphrodite – the Greek goddess of love. (see pictures)
“Aphrodite was the goddess of love, but also the goddess of fertility and childbirth,” Segal says. “Pregnant woman hoping for a safe birth would sacrifice to her, as would young girls hoping for love. Mainly, flowers, rather than animals, would be sacrificed to Aphrodite. The figurines we found were made in a mold in rather large numbers. They would be offered to the goddess in a temple by supplicants, or kept above one’s bed,” Segal said. [Dig unearths ancient cult figurines of Aphrodite]
According to the person who led the dig, Christians outlawed the Aphrodite cult, but it still survived since women clung to it.
While the Aphrodite figurine is just 1500 years old, the one found in Turkey is ancient, dating to 16,000 years back.
Erek said that the figurine showed that the social status of women was very important 16,000 years ago. Erek noted that the oldest fired clay god or goddess figurines –unearthed in Mesopotamia, Anatolia and Near East– were made in 5,000 BC. He added that experts believed that the clay was used earliest in that period, however, the goddess figurine showed that this method was older than thought. [16,000 Year-Old Mother Goddess Figurine Unearthed]
Finally, a sandstone figurine, 5000 years old, was discovered in Scotland and it is supposed to Scotland’s earliest face.
The carving is flat with a round head on top of a lozenge-shaped body. The face has heavy brows, two dots for eyes and an oblong for a nose. It is thought other scratches on top of the skull could be hair. A pair of circles on the chest are being interpreted as representing breasts, and arms have been etched at either side. It is believed a regular pattern of crossed markings on the reverse could suggest the fabric of the woman’s clothing.[Scotland’s ‘earliest face’ found]