Size: 25 x 19.5 cm
Were it not for a complete carpet with the same major design(fig.44), this
It is important to note the remains of actual textiles were also discovered during the excavations there. These were made with several different types of materials and different structural techniques but none with knotted-pile, soumak or kelim were found. The Catal Huyuk fragments, most in what has been described as a tabby weave, are some of the oldest recorded examples of true weaving known and, like the wall relief, date from the mid-7th millennium BC.
Goddess effigy representations were made in many different styles and the earliest, but surprisingly not the most simple, date from the Late Palaeolithic period, circa 30,000 BC. Most of these were found in remote cave settings in France and Spain but they continued to be produced in the same easily recognized form with ever expanding geographic distribution until the Late Bronze Age, circa 1500 BC. While there is considerable disagreement about their meaning or purpose and many scholars have presented conflicting opinions, the idea an omnipotent female being, or Goddess, played an important role in incipient religious belief and consciousness has been accepted in many quarters.
A number of different types of these effigies have been found at numerous archaeological sites located across a broad geographic distribution from Europe through to the Caspian Sea. Regardless of their function or meaning these figurines were important, as was the female component they carried, for not until well into the Bronze Age do male effigies became as prevalent and then eventually outnumber them.
Again, whether or not the Goddess was worshiped or the relief from Catal Huyuk actually shows a textile held aloft, this icon presents an undeniable link to the designs on these two carpets and leads to the question: Was the Neolithic source of this design known to these and other weavers and how did this design retain such viability over a 7000 year time period?
It appears credit for this amazing longevity should be assigned to the proscribed
and restrained nature of the iconographies traditional weaving cultures of
the Near East maintained. But this fact still begs the question: Did these
weavers and their particular weaving traditions realize this design’s
connection to the ancient Goddess icon? This question is impossible to positively
answer but after reading the analysis below, it should be easy to imagine
this icon’s meaning remained attached to it at least until the mid-17th
Figure 44 is an extremely important and unique carpet for a number of reasons but the use of only one design and no others is one of the main ones. This factor implies this icon’s inviolable importance, which was reinforced by the weaver not including any other motif. Perhaps another interesting question about the Lamm fragment is the same: Whether or not it, too, displayed only the Goddess icon?
Perhaps another related though somewhat later knotted-pile carpet fragment can help answer this question(fig.48)
The first is the appearance of the Goddess icon as a reciprocal image between each of the large squares or tiles into which the field has been divided(fig.49) .
The earliest of these originate during the late Neolithic period and a baked clay statuette from the site of Strelice in central Europe is one such example(fig.51)from the site of Strelice in
The flared skirt unlike the upraised arms is not a feature of Neolithic period Goddess effigy representation nor was it as widespread geographically. Figure 53, a Minoan fired clay statuette circa 2500, shows one of the earliest of the type. Figure 54 is also Minoan but it is faience and circa 1600 BC. Another later fired clay statue, circa 500 BC, from central Greece presents how the last examples of this type of idol appeared(fig.55).
During the late Palaeolithic period, circa 30,000-9,000 BC and throughout the Neolithic, 9,000-3,500 BC numerous
Figure 58 from Sardinia shows the subsequent Neolithic style and remarkably, this small alabaster figurine is so similar to figure 56, it seems the weaver could have been holding it as she was working.
21. This knotted-pile carpet fragment is illustrated as number 36 in the "Carpet Fragments" catalog