Early man. A proud, chiseled, oil-chested warrior who wandered the land, hauling boulders to build his boulder house and punching mastodons in the throat.
Early girl. A helpless homemaker who to tended her 15 -3 7 “childrens and” met grapes from the local grape bush.
It’s an enduring image, oft repeated in literature, cinema, and car insurance commercials.
And it might just be a little-to-a-lot wrong .
A new analyze, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, found that Stone and Bronze Age females did a lot more traveling than their male counterparts — at least in one region of Europe.
The researchers examined the remains of 84 people interred south of Augsburg, Germany. Through chemical and genetic analysis, they determined that a majority of the men were born locally, while the bulk of the women hailed from Central Germany or Bohemia in modern-day Czech Republic, hundreds of miles away.
“We assure a great diversity of different female ancestries, which would occur if over period many girls relocated to the Lech Valley from somewhere else, ” Alissa Mittnik, one of the study’s leading researchers, said in a statement.
The “foreign” women were interred with the same rites as the men, indicating that they had been integrated into local society.
Most traveled as individuals, rather than in groups, is recommended that they were “moving for matrimony , not for slavery or something like that, ” Mittnik told Inverse in an interview.
Researchers believe this “institutionalized kind of individual mobility” was a key driver of cultural exchange.
Many of appropriate tools and technology found at the sites were determined to have originated farther north, evidence that they may have been brought by the women.
By the standards of their epoch, these women were world travelers.
The researchers hope that further study will provide more clues as to how freely, frequently, and extensively Bronze Age humen migrated.
The ancient women of Central Europe may not have hunted mastodons, but they’re continuing to upend conventional wisdom of gender dynamics in millennia-old human societies and assumptions about the style things have always been.
While the historical record often marginalizes the contributions of women, such studies is evidence that, in at the least one region of the world, their migration was crucial to the cultural and technological advancement of their own communities, even if it was for marriage.
Certainly beats picking grapes.
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