Is This Ancient Image an Etruscan Mother Goddess?

Etruscan image of woman giving birth
Image from Discovery,.com

Archaeologists have found an ancient Etruscan pottery fragment that appears to be the oldest-known image of a woman giving birth. The piece of a large pottery vessel might be 2,600 years old.

The Etruscan civilization dominated northern Italy before being eventually absorbed by Rome. They used Greek letters to write their non-Indo-European language, so as a result, we know sort of how it sounded, but not what the words meant—beyond some lists of kings and things of that nature.

 The image show the head and shoulders of a baby emerging from a mother. Portrayed with her face in profile and a long ponytail running down her back, the woman has her knees and one arm raised.

The image could be the earliest representation of childbirth in western art, according to Phil Perkins, professor of archaeology at the Open University, in Milton Keynes, England.

Some scholars want to see it as a goddess rather than a woman. Regardless, you will probably be able to buy a reproduction in the Sacred Source catalog in a year or two.

(Via Caroline Tully.)