3500 BC—2500 BC, is a major bronze age archaeological culture situated in Southern Russia running from the Taman peninsula at the Kerch Strait nearly to the modern border of Dagestan, centered approximately on the modern Republic of Adygea (whose capital is Maykop) in the Kuban River valley.
To the north and west is the similarly contemporaneous Yamna culture and immediately north is the Novotitorovka culture (3300—2700), which it overlaps in territorial extent.
Gamkrelidze and Ivanov, whose views are somewhat controversial, suggest that the Maykop culture (or its ancestor) may have been a way-station for Indo-Europeans migrating from the South Caucusus and/or eastern Anatolia to a secondary Urheimat on the steppe.
The Starcevo Culture of the Central Balkans had elaborate pottery in the form of ornithomorphic vases from 5900-5800 B.C. Many figurines of the Karanovo culture were also discovered, including forms of the Bird Goddess, the pregnant goddess, stiff nudes, and zoomorphic figurines.
Anthropologists are also turning to the so-called "fringe cultures" such as the modern foraging and horticulture societies for proof of the goddess civilization's persistence: "cultures do not seem to be aware of the male role in procreation" (Aelfric 3).
A culture may worship the "Great Goddess" and therefore consider females as the creators of all life, while another culture may believe females to be the only creators of life but not necessarily believe in the "Great Goddess." One need not imply the other.
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