New Research Reveals That Ancient Women Hunter-Gatherers Also Fought In Battles

Traditionally, women have always been seen as nurturing and caring homebodies in ancient society. New research, however, challenges that idea since it reveals that even back in less-civilized times, women warriors already existed in order to help fight in battles and protect their homelands.

Ancient Women Fought In Battles Too

Usually, women have always been seen as the more gentler and caring of our species, and are often seen as the ones in charge of gathering food and caring for the young in ancient society. However, the new research reveals that the idea of women being nurturing homebodies that leave warfare and other “manly” things to men may be too simplistic, if not outright wrong.

This is because a recent analysis of 128 skeletons of hunter-gatherer women displays damage from sharp objects like arrows and knives were mostly comparable to the skeletal injuries of 289 warriors that were presumed to be male. With the findings recently released, this hints that much like men, the women hunter-gatherers from what’s now California (as well as herders in Mongolia) also fought in battles. However, whether these women warriors fought on ground alongside men or carried out other dangerous battle duties like sneaking up on enemies can’t be determined from the markings left on the bones alone. Still, the new research challenges the idea that in ancient society, women mostly stayed at home to take care of children, weave, prepare food and do other mundane tasks.

“The traditional view [in anthropology] of ‘man the hunter and woman the gatherer’ is likely flawed and overly simplistic,” Marin Pilloud, forensic anthropologist at the University of Nevada, said.

Individuals and samples from this research came from 19 Native American groups that lived in California between 5,000 and 200 years ago.

However, according to biological anthropologist Patricia Lambert of Utah State University in Logan, women were also killed in other attacks like surprise raids, which may partly explain why these skeletons of women have injuries. Some women may have fought in battles, although she believes we need more evidence to justify there were Native American women who were trained to be warriors.

skeleton New research hints that women in ancient societies also fought in battles. Photo Courtesy of Pixabay

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