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Sexual inequalities in the early Neolithic? Exploring relationships between sexes/genders at the cemetery of Vedrovice using use-wear analysis, diet and mobility

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JournalJournal of Archaeological Method and Theory
DateAccepted/In press - 3 Apr 2020
DateE-pub ahead of print - 15 May 2020
DatePublished (current) - Mar 2021
Issue number1
Volume28
Number of pages42
Pages (from-to)232–273
Early online date15/05/20
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper aims to address relations between sexes at the start of farming in Europe, particularly through studying the funerary practices of one of the most important North Carpathian Basin Neolithic cemeteries: the site of Vedrovice (Moravia, Czech Republic), considered to be the first Linearbandkeramik (LBK) cemetery documented to date. In order to approach the relationships between women, children and men at the dawn of agriculture, use-wear studies have been undertaken on both ground and flaked stone instruments deposited as grave goods, thus generating new data about the activities performed using these tools. Furthermore, the relationship between sex, age, health condition and spatial distribution has also been addressed together with the isotopic information related to diet and mobility. The results suggest that sexes were valued differently in death. Unequal farming and/or hunting product distribution between the sexes and between women of different origin has been observed as well
as higher tool and ornaments accumulation in male burials and a marked sexual
differentiation of the male and female spheres of production represented through the
stone funerary tools. A discussion is made around the possible interpretation of this
results in terms of presence/absence of sexual inequalities.

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