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Female hunters were common in early hunter-gatherer groups

Female hunters were common in early hunter-gatherer groups

After discovering a 9,000-year-old female hunter buried in the Andes Mountains, researchers reviewed documented accounts of 429 individuals from 107 burial sites, and identified 27 female individuals buried with big-game hunting tools. Researchers also conducted isotopic analysis of the Wilamaya Patjxa female’s bones which confirmed the early female hunter regularly consumed meat.

M. Schlegel
M. Schlegel 2 months

Well at best we have evidence of “some” female hunters. And it absolutely wouldn’t surprise me if there were some. It would be unusual though if it was mostly feminine. I’m hugely in favor of treating people more equally regardless of gender but the fact is that man on average are quite a bit stronger so physical activity that takes your body to the limit like big game hunting or fighting in wars was historically mostly masculine with some exceptions. With modern tools aka guns that has changed and of course some anciemt humans might’ve had mixed gender or even feminine hunting groups but I doubt it would’ve been the norm.

Irish Dave
Irish Dave 2 months

The evidence they have is spotty at best. Being buried with a hunting kit doesn't mean you were a hunter, hunting kits were personal property and when the male in a family died kits were handed down, if the family unit had no children the kit may have been buried with the spouse, which would explain why the numbers are so low. But if this is the case then why do none of the oral tradition carry stories of female hunters. Native Americans have stories of men living as females (wearing dresses, cooking and cleaning and minding the children) but in times of war were expected to join the war parties, yet, to my knowledge the Peruvians have no such stories.

Sabrina Morris
Sabrina Morris 2 months

How old were the female hunters? Did they have any signs of having children? I'm wondering if mothers with older children went out hunting and women without children when hunting. Older members of the tribe may have looked after toddlers and children so the mothers could hunt.

Robert_Clearwater 2 months

I've never been a fan of the man the hunter idea. Nobody was wrestling the big game, they were throwing sticks and weapons at it. There is no physical limitation other than being able to run, being able to walk silently, and being able to throw a spear. Woman can do all of those things and if I'm a Peruvian mountain hunter I'd want as many people as possible when we go and kill this goofy horse or this goofy deer. Perhaps the authors of this paper are the ones obsessed with the idea of upending the patriarchy?

Buffalo Guts
Buffalo Guts 2 months


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