The Prehistoric Man Is Also A Woman

Original title: L’homme préhistorique est aussi une femme

Author: Patou-Mathis, Marylène

Publication Date:

June 2020

Pages:

200

Original language and publisher

French | Allary Editions

Territories Handled

Worldwide excl. French

Genre

Essay

The Prehistoric Man Is Also A Woman

Original title: L’homme préhistorique est aussi une femme

Author: Patou-Mathis, Marylène

Synopsis

A manifest book that sheds a patriarchal vision of prehistory (History)

There is no evidence that the artists who painted the Lascaux caves were men. Neither is there evidence that the buffalo hunters were men, nor that the technical progress in pottery or in agriculture was made by men. On the contrary, everything proves that we have inherited a gendered and patriarchal vision of prehistory.

Prehistory indeed appeared as a discipline during the 19th century when it was conducted only by men, who were naturally inclined to project the stereotypes of their time on to prehistoric times. Women in the 19th century were often seen as pro-creators whose social role was limited to raising children and doing household chores. It is exactly this conception of women and the distribution of roles between the sexes that is found in the first writings on prehistory, and for more than a century thereafter.

But for the past ten years or so, the development of gender archaeology has made it possible to challenge a number of misconceptions and stereotypes about prehistoric women, who were less submissive, more robust and more inventive than previously imagined. Prehistoric women are finally beginning to emerge from their invisibility.

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