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A sexual division of labour at the start of agriculture? A multi-proxy comparison through grave good stone tool technological and use-wear analysis.

Abstract : This work demonstrates the importance of integrating sexual division of labour into the research of the transition to the Neolithic and its social implications. During the spread of the Neolithic in Europe, when migration led to the dispersal of domesticated plants and animals, novel tasks and tools, appear in the archaeological record. By examining the use-wear traces from over 400 stone tools from funerary contexts of the earliest Neolithic in central Europe we provide insights into what tasks could have been carried out by women and men. The results of this analysis are then examined for statistically significant correlations with the osteological, isotopic and other grave good data, informing on sexed-based differences in diet, mobility and symbolism. Our data demonstrate males were buried with stone tools used for woodwork, and butchery, hunting or interpersonal violence, while women with those for the working of animal skins, expanding the range of tasks known to have been carried out. The results also show variation along an east-west cline from Slovakia to eastern France, suggesting that the sexual division of labour (or at least its representation in death) changed as farming spread westwards.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03209936
Contributor : Caroline Hamon Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, December 2, 2021 - 4:44:00 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, January 19, 2022 - 1:58:01 PM

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Alba Masclans, Caroline Hamon, Christian Jeunesse, Penny Bickle. A sexual division of labour at the start of agriculture? A multi-proxy comparison through grave good stone tool technological and use-wear analysis.. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2021, 16 (4), pp.e0249130. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0249130⟩. ⟨hal-03209936⟩

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