Still digging through my emails to myself of research and interesting articles I find here and there when I do my daily dive into the internet. This is from January 2021 (not as bad as July 2020 - see post below, yikes!)
What New Science Techniques Tell Us About Ancient Women Warriors
Recent studies show that man was not always the hunter.
By Annalee Newitz
January 1, 2021
Though it’s remarkable that the United States finally is about to have a female vice president, let’s stop calling it an unprecedented achievement. As some recent archaeological studies suggest, women have been leaders, warriors and hunters for thousands of years. This new scholarship is challenging long-held beliefs about so-called natural gender roles in ancient history, inviting us to reconsider how we think about women’s work today.
In November a group of anthropologists and other researchers published a paper in the academic journal Science Advances about the remains of a 9,000-year-old big-game hunter buried in the Andes. Like other hunters of the period, this person was buried with a specialized tool kit associated with stalking large game, including projectile points, scrapers for tanning hides and a tool that looked like a knife. There was nothing particularly unusual about the body — though the leg bones seemed a little slim for an adult male hunter. But when scientists analyzed the tooth enamel using a method borrowed from forensics that reveals whether a person carries the male or female version of a protein called amelogenin, the hunter turned out to be female.
With that information in hand, the researchers re-examined evidence from 107 other graves in the Americas from roughly the same period. They were startled to discover that out of 26 graves with hunter tools, 10 belonged to women. Bonnie Pitblado, an archaeologist at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, told Science magazine that the findings indicate that “women have always been able to hunt and have in fact hunted.” The new data calls into question an influential dogma in the field of archaeology. Nicknamed “man the hunter,” this is the notion that men and women in ancient societies had strictly defined roles: Men hunted, and women gathered. Now, this theory may be crumbling.
While the Andean finding was noteworthy, this was not the first female hunter or warrior to be found by re-examining old archaeological evidence using fresh scientific techniques. Nor was this sort of discovery confined to one group, or one part of the world.
I love The New York Times. It has everything.
And so, evidently, does my scholarly (ahem) personal library - well, most of the good stuff, anyway. If you want to get some good reads, check out these books:
Warrior Women, An Archaeologist's Search for History's Hidden Heroines, by Jeannine Davis-Kimball, Ph.D. with Mona Behan, First Printing: February 2002
Women Warriors, a History, by David E. Jones, (c) 1997; first paperback edition 2000
Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History, by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, (c) 2007, First Edition
Uppity Women of Ancient Times, by Vicki Leon, (c) 1995; edition published by MJF Books by arrangement with Conari Press
And no chess historian/researcher's library would be complete without Marilyn Yalom's incredible Birth of the Chess Queen, a History, (c) 2004, First Edition
Darlings, I've never 100% bought into the theory that chess is a "war game." I always thought it had more to do with love and romance than anything else. But upon reflection, and since I seem to be on a "lyrics kick" today of songs popular during my time on planet Earth, I have to admit that there are lots of examples of comparison of Love to War. So if chess is a war game, its the battle of love that is being fought, not a battle for territory, or political principles, or the new code words for "let's go back to 21,000 BCE" - Republican "culture wars," or worst of all, over religious beliefs, dogma and domination. A brief sample of songs comparing love to war below:
Love Is a Battlefield, Pat Benatar, released September 12, 1983
Soldier of Love, Sade, released February 5, 2010
Soldier of Love (Lay Down Your Arms), Arthur Anderson (a pioneer in mixing Black Soul and Country music), released in 1962 as the "B" side of Where Have You Been (All My Life), which reached #58 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June 1962
White Flag, Dido, released September 1, 2003 (reached 18 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance at the 46th Grammy Awards (U.S.), lost out to Christina Aguilara's "Beautiful"