Goddess on the Throne – Pristina, Kosovo - Atlas Obscura

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Goddess on the Throne

Kosovo Museum

This stone figurine was made more than 6,000 years ago and depicts a female deity of the Neolithic Vinča culture. 


The Goddess on the Throne is a terracotta statuette found in 1956 in Pristina (in modern-day Kosovo), and it is on display at Kosovo Museum. 

It measures 7.3 inches in height and is estimated to be 6,000 years old. The Goddess on the Throne is a fine example of Vinča art, and there is no doubt that it was inspired by one of the culture’s deities. Vinča culture developed in Southeastern Europe during the Neolithic era, which started with the beginning of agriculture and ended in about 2,300 B.C., when the use of bronze began to spread.

One striking discovery made by archaeologists is that Vinča society was far more complex and advanced than it was initially postulated. One of the signs that points to this conclusion are the unearthing of identical figurines, indicating that they had been produced in a proto-industrial fashion unbecoming of Neolithic society.

The Goddess on the Throne is an exceedingly well-preserved statuette. Similar, but less well-preserved figures are on display at Kosovo Museum. The Goddess on the Throne and these other figurines do not exhibit obvious or exaggerated female physical traits as other statuettes of that period. In their place, what stands out are the odd-shaped heads. 

Angular and vaguely anthropomorphic, these heads may call to mind stereotypical depictions of extra-terrestrials. Additionally, the unexpected level of complexity and advancement of the Vinča society has convinced some that such a massive leap forward in human progress could only be explained by the intervention of a benevolent extra-terrestrial entity.

The Goddess on the Throne has become the symbol of Pristina, and a stylized representation of the Goddess on the Throne has been adopted as the logo of the Kosovo Museum.

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September 7, 2022

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