Prehistoric Women Had Stronger Arms Than Modern Athletes
A new study looked at remains from Neolithic, Bronze Age, and Iron Age cemeteries and compared them with bones from modern female athletes. The results show that prehistoric women were positively brawny—their arms were almost uniformly stronger than those of today’s champion rowers.
“This is the first paper that compares the bones of prehistoric women to those of living women, and it has allowed us to identify a hidden history of consistent and rigorous manual labor among women across thousands of years of farming,” says study coauthor Alison Macintosh of the University of Cambridge.
The study, published today in Science Advances, suggests that women were a driving force behind the development of agriculture during its earliest 6,000 years in Central Europe.