Activist Group Warns Archaeologists Against Hypothesizing Ancient Remains’ Sex


Black Trowel Collective Migrants called other archaeologists for their academic research “harmful” saying DNA can only determine biological sex, not gender.

They claim that archeology has “a long history of imposing modern patriarchal norms of gender and sexuality on the past.”

Historians frequently portray men as active “hunters” and women as passive “house keepers” or “gatherers”.

Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

In a blog post, the Black Trowel Collective Migrants explained why this can be problematic.

“Erasing the complexity of sex and gender beyond mere binaries is a function of contemporary transphobic ideologies in archaeological analyzes and not a reflection of the lives of past peoples,” they said.

They added: “The further back you go, the less numerous and fragmented the traces of people’s lives become and the more complicated it is to interpret and understand them.”

They state that categorizing remains as male or female can cause ‘damage’ to people in the present and further marginalize those who identify as gender fluid Where non binary.

Black Trowel Collective Migrants insists that we must “interrupt, contradict and correct anyone who dares to rationalize their own bigotry in this way”.

Credit: Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Alamy Stock Photo

However, the notion of gender diversification in the study was criticized by Jeremy Black, Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Outside.

He told the Daily Mail: “It’s an absurd proposition because gender difference, just like difference between religious, social and national groups, are key drivers of history.

“This highly ideological approach to knowledge means that we risk making knowledge itself a mere matter of political preference.”

But, archaeologist Susan Stratton said there was considerable overlap between male and female grave goods, and that “binaries” feature much more prominently in history than scientists initially thought, according to JSTOR Daily.

From 5000 ECBLate Neolithic and Copper Age, men were often buried with weapons or precious metals and women were usually buried with jewelry.

However, she revealed that around 25% of the burials that could not be positively identified as either male or female – as their skeletal remains had eroded significantly.

Man Woman the typology-based typology does not include individuals who cannot be sexed or who biologically do not fit into one of these two groups,” she said.


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