Gender Archaeology Essay

Gender archeology is a field of survey that encompasses different attacks in the survey of gender. It developed in the 1980s at the clip feminist motion emerged in many societies including America and Britain oppugning the male prejudice of the mainstream archeology. Gender plays a important function in building society and its values. categorising which are female or male functions. and making significances and individuality.

However. analyzing the construct of gender is hard as its significance is influenced by many factors and relationships in the society. Arguments are raised that gender. unlike the biological sex. does non be and complicated to prove through archeology. One of the traditional attacks in analyzing gender is through material civilization where touchable groundss are correlated with the presence of work forces and adult females such as artifacts and tools excavated. proposing a representation of the two genders and their activities ( Shaw and Jameson 2000: 251 ) .

The productive usage of material civilization is one of the most important parts of archeologists unlike other subjects which ignore the potencies of stuff and its symbolic representations and intending building of gender ( Bintliff 2004:85 ) . Scholars should acknowledge the relevancy of material civilization as it is able to correlate the objects and its physical worlds and effects to gender. leting varied ways of researching an object or stuff. It provides resources for mention and medium for pattern of gender.

It aids the survey of gender archeology in all geographical parts. classs of material civilization. and periods ( Gilchrist 1999: 15 ) . One of the research methods used in analyzing material civilization is a instance survey. which is besides normally used in feminist archeology. where archaeologist become ethnographers. They visit the site or part of analysis taking to retrace the past societies with every bit much inside informations as possible about the past people’s life style. imposts. traditions. beliefs. and other events ( Nelson 2006: 45 ) .

In this manner. history of people and its significances are identified through stuff groundss which represent relationship to gender. Numerous surveies have revealed dumbfounding facts and grounds taking to an understanding on how the significances of gender and its aspects are identified. Many pre-historical surveies have been conducted around the universe in cognizing how work forces and adult females are represented. peculiarly in artifacts. and how these representations construct or deconstruct the functions of each gender.

In a survey. Ungendering Archeology: Concepts of Sexual activity and Gender in Figurine Studies in Prehistory. Naomi Hamilton analysed and interpreted the prehistoric anthromorphic statuettes from Eastern Europe and the Near East ( Donald and Hurcombe 2000: 18 ) . Hamilton devised as methodological analysis to place sex on the figures and analyze the stereotypes attached to it sing Western gender functions. There were legion statuettes unearthed from Europe but the readings are different and sometimes beliing. Some bookmans argue that these figures. peculiarly those with adult females. represents ‘goddess worship’ but others did non hold.

Harmonizing to Hamilton. there is a demand for a theory on gender and gender dealingss that would at least supply better accounts than the traditional surveies. For any unfamiliar figure. it would be easier to presume that a certain object represents a male or a female goddess or animal but others might construe it otherwise. In Seklo group from Greece. for illustration. an excavator idea of the deformed figure with feminine form as representation of female centaur while other objects resembling male figure are assumed as enthroned work forces.

Subsequently. the female-like figure was interpreted in different positions: seated figure. goddess. or female on a birth stool. These varied interlingual renditions happen most of the times because. as Hamilton argued. archeologists readily accept that facets of human life have cosmopolitan features such that what is normally associated with adult females in another part or epoch is assumed to be similar in another part of different period ( Donald and Hurcombe 2000: 28 ) .

Hamilton argued that the ambiguity the two reciprocally sole genders ( male and female ) and its resemblance to historical Western societies have non been questioned. Traditional premises on these statuettes readily announced as representation of sex and gender functions and non other things. Besides. readings are based conservative position on gender. Archeologists assumed that there is a standard gender division in civilization but anthropologists say otherwise. In many historical statuettes. most represent female as it was how assumed by archeologists.

It must be that male is non so superior in the old times than now. Obviously. there are troubles and contrasting positions on placing which gender statuettes stand for. Hence it is of import to see non to place each figure as sex symbol merely but besides gather other information on civilization to avoid pre-conceive impressions that work forces or adult females are represented in such affair for a period of clip and besides to avoid stereotypes on the functions of adult females. Research on gender might endure if there is a strong prejudice on either gender or gender differences.

The premise that every civilization has standard or similar male-female divisions of features might take to constructing a gender based on stereotypes ( Hamilton 2004 ) . These might act upon on how work forces and adult females are viewed today and how their functions are determined in every facets of life such as household. political relations. or academia. Hamilton’s survey on statuettes has a plausible statement that the traditional premises of archeologists have made decisions that are inaccurate and lacks credibleness.

This is an of import consideration since these sort of premises lead to opposing positions damaging or overestimating either gender particularly adult females who has been. for a long clip. regarded as subsidiary to work forces. List of References Blintiff. J. L. ( 2004 ) A Companion to Archaeology. United Kingdom: Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Gilchrist. R. ( 1999 ) Gender and Archaeology: Contesting the Past. Taylor & A ; Francis. Hamiton. S. M. ( 2004 ) Gender in Archaeology. Rowman Altamira. Nelson. S. M. ( 2006 ) Handbook of Gender in Archaeology. Rowman Altamira Shaw. I. and Jameson. R. ( 2000 ) A Dictionary of Archaeology. United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell