Early big-game hunting was likely gender neutral or nearly so.

Submitted by HY on Wed, 11/25/2020 - 15:46
Women hunters - Science Advances

Female hunters of the early Americas 

Abstract - Sexual division of labor with females as gatherers and males as hunters is a major empirical regularity of hunter gatherer ethnography, suggesting an ancestral behavioral pattern. We present an archeological discovery and meta-analysis that challenge the man-the-hunter hypothesis. Excavations at the Andean highland site of Wilamaya Patjxa reveal a 9000-year-old human burial (WMP6) associated with a hunting toolkit of stone projectile points and animal processing tools. Osteological, proteomic, and isotopic analyses indicate that this early hunter was a young adult female who subsisted on terrestrial plants and animals. Analysis of Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene burial practices throughout the Americas situate WMP6 as the earliest and most secure hunter burial in a sample that includes 10 other females in statistical parity with early male hunter burials. The findings are consistent with nongendered labor practices in which early hunter-gatherer females were big-game hunters (Haas et al., Sci. Adv. 2020; 6 : eabd0310).

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Submitted by AZ on Thu, 12/10/2020 - 12:52


This may not be too surprising. Several North American tribes had matriarchal societies. It is worth looking at Gender roles among the indigenous peoples of North America in wikipedia as a starting point.