The Emergence of Patriarchy?

The Emergence of Patriarchy?
Material Arts as Evidence
Who invented Farming?
• Observations of plant behavior—recognition
of young seedlings, seeds,
• Over time Connections between rain and
• Awareness of where certain plants grew
• Worked out how to grow and tend crops
• But, “Why bother to grow crops if they are all
over the place?”
Why Change?
• Easier access to tasty grains, or reliable food
supply (foragers do not carry food with them)
• Cereals only ripen once a year but seeds could
be kept and eaten—storage? Accidental
• Slow change to sedentism
• Increase in population (Why?)
• 20,000 BCE– women had discovered food value
of einkorn
• A single good stand of wild einkorn could feed a
family for a year
• Grains had 50% more protein than wheat today
• Easily plants itself so ancient peoples would
return to campsite each year.
• Eventually the small band might decide to stay a
little longer, or not move on at all.
So women had it easier now?
• H & G men hunted about 4 days a week and
women spent 2.5 days gathering to feed
family for a week
• Rest of the time was leisure (visiting, being,
rituals, games, informal education/ raising of
Three layers of 50 stone houses
Small stone domes
Storage pits
Huts had hearths
Child and infant burials
A settled hunting and gathering band…
And with Farming (horticulture initially
and then agriculture)
• Woman’s world:
– Mark fields for planting
– Used fire hardened pointed digging sticks (later, larger
scale– plowing)
– Harvest time—all including children-helped bring in
– Children watched sheep and goats
– Gathering continued – fruit and nuts
– Women did milking and cheese-making
– Children’s work increased (from the age of three—
chasing birds away...)
Horticulture-> Agriculture
• Men would begin to help
clear fields using Slash
and burn methods
• Women would tend
fields, complete
household chores and
tending children
• And build stone/ mud
brick homes, make tools,
containers (first pottery
around 8000 BCE)
Was Farming Harder?
• Abu Hareya (Syria)
• Female skeletons had
deformed toe bones
and powerful upper
arms (not found in male
Textile Production
Why would it be a women’s task?
• Domestic spinning and fiber preparation could
be done with children underfoot (unlike
hunting, plowing, deep sea fishing, mining
• This tends to differ if weaving becomes a
public, urban business
Evidence of Increasing
Distinction in Tasks
Liulin site in China’s
Yellow River Valley
• Males are buried
with stone adzes
and chisels
• Women are buried
with spinning
Neolithic Xipo site, Lingbao, Henan
Why would religion develop?
• In some societies, religion may have been an
early form of social control– a way of
encouraging certain standards of conduct as
people learned to live together
– Moderation in animal slaughter
– Planting season
• Viewed nature as imbued with supernatural
powers (due to strong dependency on natural
Importance of Fertility Rites
Settled agriculturalists
tended to emphasize the
LIFE: the earth or womb
out of which their crops
grew and life depended
on this rite as the true
source of life
Venus of Willendorf
Catalhayuk– Great Mother Goddess
Mother Goddesses

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