The Neolithic dualist scheme
Keywords:Neolithic symbolism, exogamy, kinship structure, hunter-gatherer ideology, incipient farmers
The monumental twin steles of Göbekli Tepe are one in a long series of isomorphic compositions in Neolithic symbolism. Seemingly tracing back to the Palaeolithic, symmetry likely played a fundamental role for prehistoric societies. Ethnographers showed how hunter-gatherer ideology (mythology, totemism, etc.) is often structured around a dualistic worldview (male/female; summer/winter etc.) taking root in the kinship system through a division of the community into exogamic subgroups. It is this dualism that is argued to be embodied in the twin steles. The advent of autonomous agricultural lineages could explain why this timeless principle appears with such prominence in the Neolithic.
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