I know people think we're nuts because we think Chess is the Game of the Goddess and that its roots are much more ancient than current historical consensus allows.
What I saw for the first time in this figurine is that, when viewed from the side, it is obviously the body of a female - the breasts are prominent and easily identifiable; the waist is narrow, flaring out to hips. The cross-hatching design is also extremely ancient - goes back to at least 25,000 BCE if not beyond - I've seen examples of the cross-hatch design on all sorts of ancient objects, particularly those associated with females and/or "goddesses." Various interpretations have been given to the design, including that it might designate "weaving" - i.e. - clothing. And that is certainly possible. However, after looking at dozens and dozens of these cross-hatching patterns on various objects, including ancient board games from Egypt, Sumer and the Middle East, as well as northern India gameboards that were used for chaturanga and other games, I think in many instances the cross hatching represents water (compare the Egyptian hieroglyphic "N" for water ['nun' - the primordial waters out of which the first land, and then life, arose]), and sometimes perhaps water and land together - as in a 'field' or 'grid,' symbolic of where life comes from, and also to where it goes back.
[Bird Goddess: STARCEVO-CRIS archaeological site. Starcevo is a little village near Belgrade, Yugoslavia. Eponymus site of the Neolithic Central Balkan, Carpatho-Danubian and Dniester civilizations. (Starcevo-Cris culture). First European pottery and the first painted with geometrical motifs pottery. Clay figurines of bird goddesses. A great ancient civilization on the Danube river, c. 6000 BC. (Gimbutas, M., The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe, University of California Press, Los Angeles, 1996, Gimbutas, M., The Language of the Goddesses, Harper, SanFrancisco, 1991, Gimbutas, M., The Living Goddesses, University of California Press, Berkley, Los Angeles, London 1999, Larina, O., "Culturi din epoca neolitica", Stiinta 1994, p. 28-42].
|Enlarged al-fil piece. See|
Anna Contadini's article atGoddesschess for a
clearer graphc and more
sets with the same style
of al-fil, which is the
bishop in western chess.
Let's see - how does the Billy Joel song go? "You may be right, I may be crazy. But then it just might be a lunatic you're looking for..."