Science

New Study: Prehistoric Women Were Extremely Strong

Scientists published a new study which confirms that prehistoric women were extremely strong. So, if you are a lady and you know men who don’t truly appreciate your hard work, be sure to show them this article so they can know women haven’t always cooked in the kitchen or sat around the house!

Prehistoric Women
TheDigitalArtist / Pixabay

Scientists tested 94 bones of women who lived in farming areas in Central Europe between 5300 B.C. to around A.D. 850  According to the scientists, those prehistoric women had super-strong arms, were stronger than women living now, even compared to semi-elite female rowers. They were extremely hardworking. Their work included tilling soil, harvesting, and grinding grain by hand. The study published in Science Advances suggests that prehistoric women started working at a very young age.

The study shows that prehistoric women didn’t rely on men to do all the physical work. They were working for many hours a day and had a high impact on the social and cultural development of agricultural communities for almost 6,000 years, according to the lead author, Alison Macintosh, an anthropologist at Cambridge University.

“Now we can kind of see. Actually there are these thousands of years of rigorous manual labor that had been completely underestimated,” she told the Verge. “It’s important to be able to understand the contribution of women.”

Archaeological scientists have collected various tools as well as skeletons of women and men, to find out what they did in the past, and also what their roles were in society. Bones store a lot of information and scientists have managed to learn from them about the nourishment and physical activity during a person’s life. So, for example, it’s not only your muscles that will grow stronger throughout your life but also your bones.

“Your bones are really an excellent biological record of your life,” the Verge quoted Brigitte Holt who is a biological anthropologist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who wasn’t involved in the research.

According to previous studies, which included looking at prehistoric bones, it was revealed that hunters were looking for an agriculture-friendly area to settle down. Once they did, their legs lost some strength, while their arms grew stronger. Basically, that’s because those hunters stopped wandering around, looking for a perfect place to settle. Their life became more sedentary, as they started farming. Still, those changes found in the hunters were more expressed in men than women, said Macintosh, as men’s bones respond differently to physical activity. Because of that, it is hard to compare men’s and women’s bones to comprehend how much work the women did compared to men, but that doesn’t negate the fact that prehistoric women were extremely strong.

“They just look much weaker than men, so we think they’re not doing anything when that’s really not the case,” Macintosh told the Verge. “You need an appropriate comparison to see that.”

This is the main reason why Macintosh decided to stack the bones of prehistoric women against the bones of modern females.

Why do you think that prehistoric women were extremely strong?

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