Thursday, March 21, 2013

Girl Power in the Bronze Age!

Example of Bronze Age Jewelry found in Moesgaard Museum
Photo by Dorte Sandorff
Recently outside Vienna Austria the skeletal remains of a woman believe to be a metal worker from the Bronze Age have been unearthed. This tremendous discovery challenges the long held belief that prehistoric women only preformed the less physical and strenuous tasks associated with day to day life. This exciting find now questions long held concepts concerning the division of labor during these primordial ages.

While the pelvic bones were not included in the grave, researchers are confident the remains are of a 45 to 60 year old woman based on the shape of the skull and the size of the lower jawbone.

Contained in the grave was an anvil, hammers, flint chisels and several pieces of dress jewelry. Lower Austrian state archaeologist Dr. Ernst Lauermann said, “It was normal in those days for a person to be buried with the items that were part of their daily working lives.” These tools have led researchers to believe her occupation was a fine metal worker, an uncommon practice for a woman during this time period. Until this discovery, metalworking had always been considered a male profession because of the physicality involved since metals, then like now, were used for more than just making jewelry.

While any ancient burial site from the Bronze Age is considered a great find and a window into how past civilizations lived and ultimately formed our future; this one indicates that earlier cultures were perhaps not as patriarchal as once thought; though some scholars still believe that the significance of these artifacts is unknown. The editor of British Archaeology magazine Mike Pitts stated, “Sometimes the objects could relate to the individual’s profession but they could equally be there because they looked good or were put into the grave by relatives and didn’t belong to the individual.”

So while we will never know the truth, it’s awesome to think that women were challenging societal mores even more than 5,000 years ago!

To read more on this subject and see a photo of the burial site and skeletal remains, follow this link to the MailOnline News.

2 comments:

Certainty Jewelry said...

Beautiful!

J said...

Your new banner looks *amazing*. Such a fantastic shot of your jewelry - it reminds me of a midsummer's night dream, with gorgeous modern metal.