September 2022 – In present-day Romania, archaeologists have discovered twenty-one stylized female figurines and thirteen model chairs—none more than 3 1⁄2 inches in height—inside a vessel at a site where a sanctuary likely stood almost seven thousand years ago. Although the ceramic women all share a similar shape, close inspection reveals variations in their faces and bodies, and scholars believe that each depicts a different character. Some have ventured that this collection represents a Council of Goddesses, with the larger figurines symbolizing older divinities. Other researchers believe that these artifacts were used by the Neolithic community that created them to understand aspects of group identity in an earthly realm. Despite the multiple interpretations of this astonishing grouping, scholars are united in their conviction that the figurines served a potent ritual function.