06 April 2008

What was the roll of the men and women in the Paleolithic and Neolithic era compared to the present?

Actually we know just a little about it. Probably, as we see in the modern primitive groups still living, women usually collected plants and men hunted the animals. The life of the society was mostly depended on women's efforts in the earlier parts of Paleolithic I believe. Because there was not very much hunting since the Middle Paleolithic.

In the Upper Paleolithic Europe (35,000 years ago) there are some Venus figurines which reflects huge women. The same period, some male figurines also existed in Eastern Europe. But I believe further excavations will shed light into the Venus figurines problematic.

For the Neolithic, it has been thought that there was a Female Goddess. Figurines from Catalhoyuk (in Turkey), made people think of that. Recent researches in Anatolia, mostly in the southeast of Turkey, proved that before Catalhoyuk times (Pre-Pottery Neolithic) there were many statuettes of male figures. So sex of the Neolithic deity changes with the transition from PPN to Pottery Neolithic. But in western parts of Neolithic culture, like Balkans, figurines dating to the Neolithic, mostly has no sex identification.

We can not say that women or men had a special "sacrified" role in these times (both Neo and Paleo).

We can only say in farming villages (who still live like Neolithic age) their roles are different (I am talking about farming villages that produces cereals like wheat). The man usually work only in summer and women always does most of the housework all the time.

My readings: Ian Hodder, Mehmet Özdoğan.
And observations in Anatolian villages.

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