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Self portrait of Guda, a 12th century nun and female scribe.

Blue Pigment Found on Medieval Teeth Reveals Secret Existence of Female Scribes

The analysis of human teeth has become increasingly important in modern archaeology. A recent discovery of a set of teeth in a German monastery is revolutionizing our understanding of women in...
A cloaked witch (Leo Lintang / Fotolia)

The Evolution of The Medieval Witch – And Why She’s Usually a Woman

Flying through the skies on a broomstick, the popular image of a witch is as a predominantly female figure – so much so that the costume has become the go-to Halloween outfit for women and girls...
Ten Powerful and Fearsome Women of the Ancient World

Ten Powerful and Fearsome Women of the Ancient World

A quick perusal of the Forbes ‘World’s Most Powerful Women’ list for 2017, will reveal female politicians, heads of industry and billionaire philanthopists at the top of the list. The likes of Angela...
Ching Shih – from Prostitute to Pirate Lord

Ching Shih – from Prostitute to Pirate Lord

Ching Shih (or Zheng Shi) was a Chinese prostitute who became a powerful female pirate, controlling the infamous Red Flag Fleet. The fleet grew under her command, with expanding reserves of loot, and...
'Patasola.’

Patasola: The Destructive Femme Fatale of the South American Jungle

Ancient civilizations who navigated the unforgiving coastlines of the North Atlantic, like the Vikings, feared, worshiped, and mythologized a pantheon of unforgiving sea creatures with origins half...
Tron Bon Lei cranium, photographed during excavation. Fish-hook A and perforated bivalve to the north of the mandible.

World’s Oldest Funerary Fish Hooks Indicate Women Fished in Ancient Indonesia

Fishing was an important part of life, and apparently death as well, in the Pleistocene on Indonesia's Alor Island, northwest of East Timor. The collection of fish hooks placed alongside the remains...
Elephant-headed goddess Vinayaki is often mistaken for a female Ganesha. Statue of Ganesha

Goddess… or Demon? Hidden History of Vinayaki, the Mysterious Elephant-Headed Woman of Hindu Myth

In one of the shrines of the Thanumalayan temple in Kanyakumari district, India, is the stone sculpture of a four-armed deity sitting cross-legged in Sukhasana (“easy pose” - similar to sitting in a...
Skeleton of Xiongnu female with coal buckle. Image: Marina Kilunovskaya

Tighten Your Belt: 2,200 year-old Xiongnu Jewelry Made of Coal, Jade and Coral

By Sergey Zubchuk and Anna Liesowska Eyecatching belt buckles worn by Xiongnu female invaders have been found buried on the banks of the Yenesei River in the modern-day Tuva Republic. Another buckle...
First Genetic Proof of a Viking Age Warrior Woman is Identified from an Iconic Swedish Grave

First Genetic Proof of a Viking Age Warrior Woman is Identified from an Iconic Swedish Grave

“Then the high-born lady saw them play the wounding game , she resolved on a hard course and flung off her cloak; she took a naked sword and fought for her kinsmen's lives , she was handy at fighting...
Representation of a Bronze Age woman in Dartmoor.

New Study Questions Archaic Views on Gender Roles, Showing Women as Cultural Leaders

Saying that someone with archaic views on gender roles lives in the Stone Age may not work anymore. A new study suggests that men and women in Lechtal, Germany during the Stone and Bronze Ages...
‘A maid bringing medicine and soup to her master who has a cold.’ (1857)

Medicine Maidens: Why Did Women Become the Primary Medical Providers in Early Modern Households?

A primary female occupation in the early modern period (AD 1500-1800) was that of medicine. Though there were formal doctors—known by various titles and with various tasks detailed by their...
The 3,000-year-old female statue uncovered at the archaeological site of Tayinat in Turkey.

Female Statue in Turkey Challenges Common Perceptions of Women in the Ancient World

The remains of a majestic female statue uncovered at the archaeological site of Tayinat in Turkey may challenge our understanding of the public role of women in the ancient world. Excavations led by...
The mummified female head unearthed on the edge of the Arctic near Gorny Poluy River, Zeleniy Yar. Image: Irina Sharova

Meet the Mummified Polar Beauty, First Female to be Recovered from Siberian Necropolis

By Anna Liesowska, Siberian Times Unearthed on the edge of the Arctic, she is the only woman so far found in an otherwise all-male necropolis, buried in a cocoon of copper and fur. She has long...
Deadly Female Ninja Assassins Used Deception and Disguise to Strike Their Target

Deadly Female Ninja Assassins Used Deception and Disguise to Strike Their Target

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles got a lot of ninja qualities right: their preference for sticking to the shadows, the emphasis on reconnaissance and espionage, and, of course, their choice of weapons...
The tumor with teeth was found in a cemetery in Lisbon, Portugal.

Archaeologists Found a Medieval Body With a Tumor That Was Growing Teeth – But That’s Not the Whole Story

Digging up a graveyard in Lisbon, Portugal, archaeologists found the remains of a woman who had died sometime between the 15th and 18th century. They can’t be sure what killed her, but it may have...
“The Painted Ones” hand-colored version of Theodor de Bry’s engraving of a Pict woman who is either painted or tattooed.

Power, Perils and Rites of Passage – The History of the Female Tattoo

Emily Poelina-Hunter / The Conversation Almost a quarter of Australian women now have tattoos - a trend some attribute to the influence of feminism. What I find interesting is that the mainstreaming...

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