An Austrian museum says skeletal remains found in an ancient grave are that of a woman metal worker – the first indication that women did such work thousands of years ago.
The Museum of Ancient History says the grave originates from the Bronze Age, which began more than 5000 years ago and ended 3200 years ago.
In a statement on Wednesday, it said that although the pelvic bones were missing, examination of the skull and lower jaw bone shows the skeleton is of a woman.
The museum says tools used to make metal ornaments were also found in the grave northwest of Vienna, leading to the conclusion that it was that of a female fine metal worker.
It says such work had been commonly presumed to be in the male domain.
Archaeologists said women were metal workers in the Bronze Age. Women used to make tools and weapons and jewelries. They were hard-working people. The remains of a woman metal worker from the Bronze Age have recently been found. She was buried with an anvil, hammers, flint chisels and some small pieces of dress jewelry. Archaeologists believe this discovery will challenge ideas about the division of labor in prehistoric times. Smithing is a strenuous, physical, manual occupation, so it has always been seen as a male , never a female occupation. But scientists and researchers today are saying the opposite of what people have known for centuries.
Many people would think weapons and tools that were found in female graves do not necessarily prove that females made those weapons and tools. They would say, ‘Sometimes the objects could relate to the individual’s profession but they could equally be there because they looked good or were put into the grave by relatives and didn’t belong to the individual.’ Even debates are good rather than conclude prehistoric stories by saying, women did nothing but gathering berries, nuts and seeds, breastfeeding babies, spinning and weaving.
How could you be so sure that women did not hunt woolly mammoths?