Explanation Hans Christian Ørstedt Philipp Reis Alessandro Volta Enrico Fermi Mario Corbino
Ettore Majorana Luigi Galvani Marija Aleksaite-Gimbutiene Carl Auer von Welsbach

 

Marija Aleksaite-Gimbutiene - Kaunas Kalnieciai Secondary School Lithuania
1921 - 1994

Biography

Marija Aleksaite-Gimbutiene archaeologist, professor of European archaeology, archaemythologist, propagator of the Baltic culture in the world, leading authority on ancient European cultures.
M. Aleksaite-Gimbutiene was born in Vilnius, Lithuania, January 23, 1921. She lived in Kaunas, finished "Ausros" girls' high - school, studied at Vytautas Magnus University. In 1942 she graduated from Vilnius University. In 1946 M. Gimbutiene maintained a thesis at Tubinger University (Germany) and was confered Doctor of Phylosophy degree. In 1950 she worked at Harward University museum in Cambridge. In 1966 she moved to Los Angeles and started her carrer as a professor at the University of California.
Marija Gimbutiene died in 1994 in Los Angeles (USA) . Her remains were brought to Kaunas and buried in Petrasiunai cemetery.

Scientific work

M. Gimbutiene displayed the prehistoric evolution of European nations including the Balts, and created the conception of the old European culture and its fall caused by the invasion of Indo-European tribes rushing into Europe from the Eurasian steppes. She carried out archaeological investigations in Balkan countries, Southern Italy and Greece. On the basis of these studies she wrote about gods and goddesses. In 1993 she was granted the USA Anisfield-Wolf Prize for her book The Civilization of the Goddess: The World of Old Europe, 1991.
In 1946 Tubingen University (Germany) conferred her Doctor of Philosophy degree for her work "Laidosena Lietuvoje priesistoriniais laikais" (Die Bestattung in Litauen in der vorgeschichtlichen Zeit).
In 1956 she wrote her second book The Prehistory of Eastern Europe Part1: "Mesolithic and Copper Age Cultures in Russia and the Baltic Area".
In 1958 she published her book "Ancient simbolism in Lithuania".
In 1963 M.Gimbutiene wrote "The Balts", published in London. This work also provides a broader depiction of pre-Christian Baltic culture and history, translated into Italian in 1967, German 1983.
In 1965 the monograph "Bronze Age Cultures of Central and Easter Europe" was published in the Hague.
In 1971 M. Gimbutiene published her work "The Slavs".
The first book of the so called "The Goddess" cycle The Gods and Godesses of Old Europe, 7000-3500 B.C.. Myths, legends, cult images, was published in 1974.
The second cycle was called "The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe", 6500-3500 B.C. and was published in 1982.
In 1985 M.Gimbutiene published and expanded version of "The Balts", where she presented a more systematic view of Baltic mythology and religion. She has showed that the pantheon of the Baltic deities had two distinct origins. The updated version of "The Balts" is available only in Lithuanian ("Baltai priesistoriniais laikais", Vilnius, 1985).
The third book of "The Goddess" cycle The Language of the Goddess was written in 1989. The importance of this book was highly appreciated by Joseph Campbell, a well-known expert in Europe mythology, who wrote a foreword to the book.
Marija Gimbutiene resurrects the world of Goddess - worshipping, earth-centered cultures, bringing ancient matriarchal society vividly to life.
The last book of the cycle The Civilization of Goddess: The World of Old Europe brought her the USA Anisfield-Wolf Prize for the most significant studies on the history of the World culture.