Twins have been of interest to humans for at least 10,000 years
Goddesses owner/editor Dean Adams Curtis
At the archaeological site of Catalhoyuk, an early human city that began to grow about ten thousand years ago, the twins included animals, a pair of identically stylized panthers who form the seat/throne for a robust female/goddess. She was found, seated just as you see her here (minus a couple bits that have been restored), in a grain bin.
Notice the two panthers who frame the robust female figures seated cross-legged and spread-legged in the drawing below, a depiction of a wall painting at Catalhoyuk discoverd by archaeologist James Mellaart. Fortunately for all of us, he had with him on his excavation team a woman with artistic talent who was able to gaze upon the wall painting, and other wall paintings, and depict them before they melted away upon exposure to air. Notice also the lines of stick figures moving from the caverns with stalagtites and stalagmites to pairs of black geometric objects (truncated triangles).
Notice that twin black panthers mirror pairs of mirrored spotted leopards, upon which mirrored images of the robust woman are sitting. Now look at the other dualities.
Also pictured in the wall painting is an all black humanoid figure with horns. The figure is holding a pair of items that are hard to identify. Once again, this image is mirrored. However this figure appears in other wall paintings from the site. In one of these other images, the figure holds a pair of vultures around their necks. Notice an additional mirrored character in the wall painting. This third character is depicted in birth giving position. There is something fascinating about the object they are giving birth to, however in this drawing it is partially missing, as it was on the wall painting by the time it was excavated. When you finish this article you may want to come back to reconsider this object.
Time and again during the subsequent millennia, identical pairs of animals have been depicted on each side of a female who is thought to be a deity who is known by various names.
On the left and right are two of these females. We know their names because they were venerated during history, during times in which writing was utilized to convey information. Both images depict an ancient Middle Eastern goddess, or Elath (the ancient Canaanite way of saying goddess). The Canaanites called the husband of Elath, i.e. God, by the name El, or Bull El.
For many peoples and generations in the Mideast, the Elath on the left was Queen of the Wild Beasts, also identified as the Canaanite goddess Astarte (in Hebrew she is called Ashtoreth). She is depicted here on the right, flanked by mirrored horse images. In other images she is depicted holding a pair of flowers that sometimes seem similar to sunflowers or poppies. Additionally, she is often shown holding a pair of gazelle-like creatures, one in each hand, flanked by a pair of snakes and standing on a lion. On the right is Anahita, a Persian fertility goddess holding a pair of lions or panthers.
Twin animals are still utilized in national symbols and flags. The Albanian flag is an example.
On the right is an especially interesting pair of twins, from the Jordanian site known as Spring of the Gazelles, or Ain Ghazal. This exciting site is discussed in detail elsewhere on goddesses.com.
And we need only to look into the night sky or to the nearest newspaper horoscope to recall that the Gemini twins have long been with us.
Archaeologist Marija Gimbutas studied the Indo-Europeans early in her career, before realizing that beneath their sites lay the remains of what she called the Civilization of the Goddess. Those who theorize about the theology of the Indo-Europeans say they worshipped a male sky deity, sky father, or a thunder god, along with and a pair of sky twins. Were Indo-Europeans the source of the Gemini twin mythology? Perhaps. Or perhaps they integrated even earlier belief systems. It is also theorized that the Indo-Europeans conceived of two senses of the sacred: "that which is imbued with holiness" and "that which is forbidden." Were the twins mythological manifestations representing these two conceptions?
Oh, and one last thing. Ponder the big symbol in the middle below. It can be found ubiquitously in the patterns on Southwest style rugs. You may even have it on a throw pillow at your place. But I here reveal to you that its source is from Turkey, where it is also a fundamental symbol on popular Anatolian "kilim" rugs. My theory is that traders in the U.S. Southwest bartered with Native Americans to weave these rugs that even back then were in high demand. The symbol below goes way, way back, deep into Turkish prehistory. At least 9000 years ago it appeared over and over again in the wall paintings from Catal Huyuck.
Take another look at the wall painting depicted in the top right of this article. Its one good example of how the symbol was integrated into art at the site. Mirrored on both sides of the big symbol below is another of the quickly sketched wall paintings from Catal Huyuck. Symmetrical mirrored images, twins and duality.