Prehistoric female hunter discovery upends gender role assumptions
Researchers have generally thought that only prehistoric males hunted—but what if evidence against that idea has been lying in plain sight for decades?
"He must have been a really great hunter, a really important person in society"—Haas says that’s what he and his team were thinking at the time.
But further analysis revealed a surprise: the remains found alongside the toolkit were from a biological female. What's more, this ancient female hunter was likely not an anomaly, according to a study published today in Science Advances. The Haas team’s find was followed by a review of previously studied burials of similar age throughout the Americas—and it revealed that between 30 and 50 percent of big game hunters could have been biologically female.
This new study is the latest twist in a decades-long debate about gender roles among early hunter-gather societies. The common assumption was