Grand Challenges for Archaeology of Gender and Sexuality

January 31, 2016

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A few years back there was a survey of archaeologists to determine the 25 Grand Challenges that archaeology could help solve…That survey was pretty specific about what they considered ‘Grand Challenges’: ‘The Web survey defined grand challenges to be fundamental problems in science and explicitly excluded “disciplinary challenges with respect to the practice of archaeology, […]

Cosmopolitan Women of the European Bronze Age

May 31, 2015

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“Bronze Age Woman Had Surprisingly Modern Life” Ok, I think: what are we talking about here? what would be both modern and surprising? The subtitle of the article clarifies things: The stunningly well-preserved remains of the Egtved Girl from 3,500 years ago reveal her travels as a high-status woman of her day. Ahah! the “surprise” […]

Posted in: archaeology, gender, history

Women as Leaders in Early Christianity: Fairy Tales?

November 21, 2013

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When I find myself approving of the Daily Mail, I have to pause and ask what in the world is going on. But that is precisely where I find myself: feeling like the Daily Mail, for once, is not sensationalizing a story with its headlines on the reopening of Rome’s Catacombs of Priscilla: Do these […]

Bonampak Sex Change: From Heir to Heiress

October 28, 2013

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An article in the Mexican newspaper La Cronica de Hoy reported last Thursday on a new book being presented in Mexico this week, The Spectacle of the Late Maya Court: Reflections on the Murals of Bonampak. Written by art historians Mary Ellen Miller and Claudia Brittenham, the book builds on a long-term project by Miller […]

Law of the Conservation of Gender

October 22, 2013

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Think of it as like the law of the conservation of momentum: the gender in a system is constant if there is no external force acting on the system. Here’s how it works: burial discovered with two skeletons; spear near one interpreted as evidence for that body being male. Analysis of bones show that this […]

Ancient Women Are Confusing

September 16, 2013

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At least, they are when they show up in positions of power. On Wednesday September 11, Fox News published a report, originally by the AFP, about the discovery of the tomb of Shangguan Wan’er, a Tang dynasty imperial bureaucrat in the Chinese court of Empress Wu Zetian. AFP is the credited source for Fox. But […]

Posted in: archaeology, gender, history

Powerful Women Existed in Moche Society: Now Move On

August 9, 2013

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How long does it take for us to not be surprised that powerful women exist? I wonder about that question a lot: every time the tomb or portrait of a woman of the noble class in Classic Maya society is found, we hear about how surprising it is that there were powerful women. Usually, this […]

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