11/20/2020

Ancient Big Game Hunters May Have Included Women

11:55 minutes

a collage of rock tools found from an archaeology dig. some of the rocks are pointed while others are more round
Tools recovered from the burial pit floor including projectile points (1 to 7), unmodified flakes (8 to 10), retouched flakes (11 to 13), a possible backed knife (14), thumbnail scrapers (15 and 16), scrapers/choppers (17 to 19), burnishing stones (17, 20, and 21), and red ocher nodules (22 to 24). Credit: Randy Haas/UC Davis

In ancient hunter-gatherer societies, it’s been predominantly thought that men were the hunters and the women were the gatherers. This narrative has persisted for centuries. But researchers say the story might be more complicated. In Peru, a team of anthropologists uncovered a burial site containing 9,000-year-old remains of a possible female big game hunter. Their findings were published in the journal Science Advances. Producer Alexa Lim talks with one of the authors on that study, anthropologist Randy Haas from UC Davis, about what this can tell us about the social structure of hunter-gatherers.


Further Reading

Donate To Science Friday

Invest in quality science journalism by making a donation to Science Friday.

Donate

Segment Guests

Randy Haas

Randy Haas is an assistant professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Davis in Davis, California.

Segment Transcript

The transcript for this segment is being processed. It will be posted within one week after the episode airs.

Meet the Producer

About Alexa Lim

Alexa Lim is a producer for Science Friday. Her favorite stories involve space, sound, and strange animal discoveries.

Explore More