Why was this woman buried among men in the Neolithic period?


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Prehistoric cemeteries contain many clues to human societies that preceded ours. The cemetery dates back to Neolithic age He made in Fleury-sur-Orne, in Normandy, just an important discovery regarding the complexity of the concept of the identity of people at this time. In fact, several rubble The Neolithic ones are found in the Paris Basin and contain the skeletons of men and women, in similar proportions.

A woman who embodies masculinity?

However, a research team recently published the results of the analyzes DNA of the fourteen persons buried at the level of the hill of Fleury-sur-Orne (Calvados) in Newspaper PNAS. Of these, thirteen were men and only one was a woman. Moreover, the arrows Traditionally placed in this woman’s grave associated with men.

Replicas of arrowheads and other artifacts found in tombs were made. The latter are characteristic of hunters in the local culture of this time. © Pascal Radge, CC by-sa 4.0

If it is impossible to assert that this woman was considered a hunter, perhaps she personified masculinity. One of the study authors points out that  » These male sexual preoccupations put her outside her biological sexual identity». Therefore, the right to burial in this gigantic tomb should be restricted to persons who embody the male sex.

It is possible that this woman was also of high social standing, which may have contributed to her burial at this prestigious site. However, isotopic analyzes that would provide information on this woman’s diet as well as on her geographic origin must be performed in order to test this hypothesis.

The Neolithic cemetery at Fleury-sur-Orne was discovered by aerial photographs in the 1960s. The National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap) is conducting

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