Sunday, June 13, 2021

Bronze Age burial site of powerful woman discovered under ancient palace in Spain

Archaeologists excavating at La Almoloya, Spain, have discovered a grave filled with precious items and the remains of a woman, who may have been a ruler or powerful member of society. The woman was buried alongside a man in a large pot in around 1700 BC, beneath the floor of what may be western Europe’s earliest palace.

The majority of the grave’s objects, and particularly those of silver, were found with the woman, including a rare silver diadem, still worn on her head. Scholars argue that this was a symbol of power in El Argar society, which existed in south-eastern Spain from around 2200 to 1550 BC. Among the woman’s other grave goods were a set of silver earlobe tunnel-plugs; silver spirals that were perhaps part of her headdress; two silver bracelets; a necklace; and a silver ring on one of her fingers. In total, the burial contained about 230g of silver. The man’s objects, by contrast, were less prestigious.

read more here @ The Art Newspaper

BMA Opens Women Behaving Badly: 400 Years of Power and Protest

From the heroines of ancient myth to the female trailblazers of the modern era, centuries of independent and rebellious women have been trivialized or condemned through the degrading myths and gendered stereotypes perpetuated in printed imagery. 

From July 18–December 19, 2021, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) presents an exhibition that captures visual representations of independent, defiant, and sometimes misunderstood women and explores the role of European and American art in both continuing their condemnation and celebrating their achievements. 

Women Behaving Badly: 400 Years of Power and Protest features over 75 prints, photographs, and books from the Renaissance to the early 20th century drawn from the BMA’s vast works on paper collection and supplemented with loans from the Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institution, Johns Hopkins University, Princeton University, Maryland Center for History and Culture, and private collections.

read more here @ Cecil Daily

‘It’s infuriating and shocking’: how medicine has failed women over time

From The Guardian: In the eye-opening new book Unwell Women, Elinor Cleghorn uses her own misdiagnosis at the hands of male doctors as a jumping point for an alarming history lesson.

Cleghorn’s new book, Unwell Women, enumerates a litany of ways in which women’s bodies and minds have been misunderstood and misdiagnosed through history. From the wandering womb of ancient Greece (the idea that a displaced uterus caused many of women’s illnesses) and the witch trials in medieval Europe, through the dawn of hysteria, to modern myths around menstruation, she lays bare the unbelievable and sometimes horrific treatment of women for millennia in the name of medicine.

read more here @ The Guardian

Church replaces ancient carvings with inspiring women sculptures

From BBC News:
A church is to replace its crumbling medieval carvings with sculptures of inspiring women to honour their "extraordinary" achievements.

Many of the stone sculptures at St Mary's Church in Beverley, East Yorkshire, are now unrecognisable.

Carvings of Queen Elizabeth II, feminist Mary Wollstonecraft and nurse Mary Seacole are among the notable women set to replace them.

Rev Rebecca Lumley said they would "help to inspire the next generation".

Work to install characters from CS Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia on the outer wall of the church has recently been completed, with the same small team of sculptors used for the latest project.

Clay prototypes of the women are currently being created, with the church aiming for the stone versions to be ready for public viewing by November.

"Pioneering women" who worked in traditionally male-dominated arenas including maths, the sciences and engineering, were prioritised.

read more here @ BBC News

Saturday, April 10, 2021

The Hidden History of Women and the IRA

Women have been part of the IRA from the start, but their stories remain largely untold. Their roles—their radicalization, training, combat, and varying levels of conviction or remorse—form a hidden history. During the Troubles, dozens of women were imprisoned for IRA activity. Some who survived the conflict have renounced their former army; others remain committed to the armed struggle into their seventies.

“Women terrorists are more fanatical and have a greater capacity for suffering,” says theorist Walter Laqueur. “Their motivation is predominantly emotional and can not be shaken through intellectual argument.”

Perhaps we prefer to believe that the girls and women of the IRA and other radical groups were somehow tricked into joining, that they were naïve, that a man was somewhere in the background pulling the strings. We tend to assume that women are inherently peaceful, especially once they have children. But motherhood can actually be a spur to join a terror movement, not a deterrent. Some IRA women viewed their struggle as a way to provide a different sort of life for their children, a peaceful one.

read more @ CrimeReads

Friday, January 1, 2021

Research into 9,000-year-old Wilamaya Patjxa burial site suggests women were big-game hunters

A new discovery of an ancient burial site shows just how much we still don’t know about ancient societies. A 9,000-year-old burial site in southern Peru potentially shows that what we’ve longed believed about gender roles in hunter-gatherer societies might be a bit off.

Anthropology professor Randall Haas and a team of experts have published a report that “challenge[s] the man-the-hunter hypothesis” concerning the division of work amongst males and females in ancient times. Published in Science Advances, the study titled “Female hunters of the early Americas” builds upon the discovery of remains and more than 20,000 artefacts in the Andean highlands at a 9,000-year-old burial site called Wilamaya Patjxa.

The study points out that in recent hunter-gatherer societies, big-game hunting has been “overwhelmingly male-biased.” But, Haas and his team have shown evidence from Wilamaya Patjxa that this may not have always been the case amongst ancient societies that would have required all-hands-on-deck to procure big-game. In addition to communal hunting, Wilamaya Patjxa findings suggests that child rearing would have been a shared task, freeing up more men, women, and children to partake in hunts.

read more here @ Art Critique

Ancient manuscripts reveal the role of 17th century women

More than analyzing textual and linguistic structures and interpreting ancient writings, Philology as a human science can surprise us and reveal “existing layers of a society” from the past. This was the case in a study that transcribed “Letters of Dates”, a kind of land deed, from Jundiaí, in the middle of the 17th century. At the time, amid requests for possession, widowed, married and single women they were among the “supplicants” of extensive areas, addressed to the public power of the city. The ancient manuscripts (1657), which date from the colonial period, are now filed at the Memory Center of the municipality of Jundiaí, in the interior of the State of São Paulo, and were the object of study by researcher Kathlin Carla de Morais, from the Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and Human Sciences (FFLCH) from USP.

According to the study, this intertwining of religious, political and cultural powers can be explained in this period by the fact that the city councils were the regulators of everything that happened in the region. The guidelines they followed were inspired by sources from the Portuguese judicial system, which dealt with the State’s relations with the Church and guided civil and commercial processes, based on Roman and canon law. This land concession scheme lasted until the 19th century with the Land Law (1850), which started to use the purchase and sale model for the acquisition of floors.

read more here @ Indian Education Diary

Science, art combine to reveal face of ancient Peruvian noblewoman

Peruvians’ view of their remote ancestors has taken on a new immediacy thanks to the innovative reconstruction of the face of an upper class women buried some 3,700 years ago.

“She has a great resemblance to a woman of today,” archaeologist Dayanna Carbonel told Efe, referring to the “Lady of El Paraiso,” whose tomb was discovered in 2016.

Carbonel leads the team carrying out excavations at the vast El Paraiso complex, home to the oldest known temples on the central coast of what is now Peru.

The bust, with its long face, prominent nose and cheekbones, small eyes and narrow mouth, is on display at Lima’s Andres Del Castillo Mineral Museum, which financed the reconstruction and gave Efe an exclusive first look at the result of nearly two years’ work.

Anthropometric analysis of the skeletal remains provided a basis for determining the dimensions and shape of the face of the Lady of El Paraiso, who stood just 1.5m (4ft 9in) tall and was between the ages of 20 and 25 at her death.

read more here @ La Prensa Latina Media

Saturday, December 12, 2020

BC names new Calderwood University Professor in Islamic and Asian Art

Emine Fetvaci, a prominent scholar and accomplished teacher whose research areas include the arts of the book in the Islamic world, and Ottoman, Mughal, and Safavid art and architecture, has been appointed to Boston College’s Norma Jean Calderwood University Professorship in Islamic and Asian Art, effective January 1, 2021.

Emine Fetvaci

Emine Fetvaci (Daniel Star)

"Emine Fetvaci is one of the world's leading scholars of Ottoman painting, and she is playing an important role in redefining Islamic art history by exploring Islamic art in conversation with a broader early modern world,” said Boston College Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences Dean Gregory Kalscheur, S.J.

“She brings to Boston College both this scholarly expertise and a deep commitment to formative liberal arts teaching. I am delighted that she will be joining us as the Calderwood Professor of Islamic and Asian Art."

read more here @ Boston College