Cows are ubiquitous in paleolithic and neolithic art and sacred still today in places like India. The Dogon Tribe, a stargazing culture, left abundant artwork at Nabta Playa attesting to a reverence for cows. Their descendants, the Ancient Egyptians, would later worship a cow goddess named Hathor. Egyptian temple pillars are generally fluted with a lotus at top. Hathor is the only deity to appear in the fluting of temple pillars. As Hathor’s cult developed from prehistoric cow cults it is not possible to say conclusively where devotion to her first took place. Dendera in Upper Egypt was a significant early site where she was worshiped as “Mistress of Dendera”.
Bull-horned goddess in the shape of a bee rendered on a stylized bull’s head of bone. Bilcze Złote, northwestern Ukraine. Late Cucuteni, 4th millennium b.c.e.
Egyptian Holy Cow in Blue / Water Color & Ink – Jen Taylor 2012
Mithilian Cow Goddess / Artwork – Jen Taylor
Kamadhenu, The Wish-Granting Cow Made in Rajasthan, India c. 1825-55 Artist/maker unknown, India, Rajasthan, Jodhpur or Nathadwara Opaque watercolor and metallic pigments on paper 5 x 5 inches (12.7 x 12.7 cm) This vision of Kamadhenu, the Wish-Granting Cow, combines the white zebu cow with the crowned frontal female face, colourful “eagle” wings, and peacock tail of Buraq, the animal that the prophet Muhammad rode to heaven in his night journey (Miraj). From at least the fifteenth century, Persian paintings showed Buraq with a horse’s body, wings, and woman’s face; the peacock tail may have been an Indian addition. Popular images of Kamadhenu in India today often show her as in this painting, which may be one of the earliest images to merge the visual characteristics of the Hindu Kamadhenu with the Islamic Buraq.” Date circa 1825-55 http://www.philamuseum.org/collections/permanent/88274.html?mulR=7702
Hathor Fluted Pillars / Temple of Hathor – Philae, Aswan