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NEW Publication: Sexual Inequalities in the Early Neolithic? Exploring Relationships Between Sexes/Genders at the Cemetery of Vedrovice Using Use-Wear Analysis, Diet and Mobility

Posted on 21 May 2020

Senior Lecturer Penny Bickle contributes to new paper arguing for a complex web of gender during the Neolithic.

A series of flint handaxes found in graves

The paper addresses relations between the sexes at the start of farming, at the early Neolithic site of Vedrovice (Czech Republic). Use-wear analysis of both ground and flaked stone tools provide new evidence about what those tools were used for. This is then combined with the isotopic and osteological data from the site. The research shows distinct differences between the ways male and female skeletons (identified osteologically) were treated at death and strong connections to their experiences in life (identified in the isotopes). The authors conclude that there was a strong division of labour, indicating two separate ways of symbolising gender in the grave, rather than a distinct hierarchy between the sexes. 
The paper can be found in the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory: