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Excavations of ancient households and study of fingerprints in New Mexico reveal that men and women were equally involved in domestic pottery production. Source: John Kantner / UNF.

Fingerprints Overturn Ideas On Women In Ancient Native American Society – But What About The Third Sex?

Fingerprints are very important in criminal investigations , but it seems they are also increasingly important when it comes to archaeological studies . By studying 1000-year-old fingerprints ,...
Ary Scheffer (French, 1795-1858): ‘The Souliot Women’, 1827, Oil on canvas, Paris, Musée du Louvre. Around the world, ancient laws tended to favor men over women, often with dire consequences. Unfortunately, many would argue the problem still exists

Ancient Laws and Women’s Rights: The 6000-Year-Old World War Continues

The term ‘legal rights of women’ refers to the social and human rights of women. There has never been a time in history where this subject has been more at the fore of politics. Social justice...
Illustration of Mahabharata (Public domain)

The Legend of Shikhandi, the Transgendered Warrior Who Paid the Price of Opposing Powerful Men

Chauvinism existed even in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. The ancient text depicts the legendary eighteen-day bloodbath, dubbed the Kurukshetra War, where the hero/heroine’s greatest feat was not...
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...
Hansanlu Lovers skeletons close up of torsos and skulls

The Eternal Kiss of the Hasanlu Lovers Throws Up Questions of Ancient Love: Romance, Bromance or Something More Familial?

Have you ever heard of the “The Hasanlu Lovers?” If not, don’t be too quickly seduced by the exotic and romantic sounding moniker this phenomenon has been awarded. Colorful and amorous images are...
Detail of the kudu engraving which is said to depict female initiation rituals in the Namib desert thousands of years ago.

Rock Art Rituals: Namib Desert Engravings Provide Fascinating Insight into Ancient Initiation for Girls

When it is carefully examined, rock art in the Namib Desert may shine light on forgotten rituals and practices from thousands of years ago. One particularly interesting feature appears to show...
Chaco Canyon Pueblo Bonito Ruin.

Was a Key Ancient Puebloan Society Ruled by Women?

Discovering who was a leader, or even if leaders existed, from the ruins of archaeological sites is difficult, but now a team of archaeologists and biological anthropologists, using a powerful...
Left, Sisters Charlotte and Susan Cushman in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in 1846. Right, Male Kabuki actor in Japan

Ancient History of Cross-Dressing: From Ancient Religions to the Theaters

Ephippus, in a surviving fragment of his lost pamphlet depicting the court of Alexander the Great in 324-323 BC, alleges that Alexander liked to cross-dress as the Greek archer-goddess Artemis...
Monks, Hermits and Ascetics: The Little-Known History of Women in Desert Asceticism

Monks, Hermits and Ascetics: The Little-Known History of Women in Desert Asceticism

Theodoret of Cyrrhus (423–457) tells us that when little girls played games in forth-century Syria, they played monks and demons. One of the girls, dressed in rags, would reduce her little friends...
An artistic representation of the burial at Paviland Cave.

The Peculiar Narrative of the Red Lady of Paviland, A Man from Paleolithic Wales

During the 1800s, archaeologists discovered human remains in one of the most famous caves in the world. The bones were dated to be 33,000 years old. This is one of the oldest ceremonial burials of a...
A family of Neanderthals in Eurasia, during the Pleistocene epoch

Did light-skinned, redheaded Neanderthal women hunt with the men?

A team of Spanish researchers theorizes, based on grooves and nicks on the teeth of Neanderthals, that gender roles among that species were similar to gender roles of modern Homo Sapiens. Neanderthal...
Reconstruction of the ancient city of Çatalhöyük

Men and women held equal status in ancient city of Catalhoyuk

Overlooking the Konya Plain in Turkey lies the remarkable and unique ancient city of Çatalhöyük, the largest and best-preserved Neolithic site found to date. At a time when most of the world's people...