November 2, 2014

Breasts and weed and pants and alkyhol. . . .

Filed under: Uncategorized — acagle @ 11:30 am

On the steppes: Amazon Warriors Did Indeed Fight and Die Like Men

The real Amazons were long believed to be purely imaginary. They were the mythical warrior women who were the archenemies of the ancient Greeks. Every Greek hero or champion, from Hercules to Theseus and Achilles, had to prove his mettle by fighting a powerful warrior queen.

We know their names: Hippolyta, Antiope, Thessalia. But they were long thought to be just travelers’ tales or products of the Greek storytelling imagination. A lot of scholars still argue that. But archaeology has now proven without a doubt that there really were women fitting the description that the Greeks gave us of Amazons and warrior women.

The Greeks located them in the areas north and east of the Mediterranean on the vast steppes of Eurasia. Archaeologists have been digging up thousands of graves of people called Scythians by the Greeks. They turn out to be people whose women fought, hunted, rode horses, used bows and arrows, just like the men.

I linked to something else like this a few weeks ago, IIRC. I’m not sure if we know anywhere else where female graves were associated with weapons? OTOH, this may be from a lack of available evidence; we mostly have a large amount of formal grave data from sedentary populations, so perhaps this was more common than we think. Or perhaps it was just more possible for a horse-centered population to have relatively mobile pregnant women? I don’t really know, but it raises lots of interesting questions.

Oh, what the heck: Artist’s conception of what an ancient Amazon warrior woman may have looked like:

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