Riddle of the Bones: Gender Revolution

Men hunt, women gather—researchers uncover archaeological errors and turn the traditional gender roles upside down.

At the turn of the century, archaeologists discovered a tomb with swords, horses, bows and arrows in the Viking city of Birka. No one doubted the identity of this Viking: it was a warrior. But researchers from Stockholm University recently examined the bones using DNA analysis. The result: the grave belongs to a woman …

In the Chinese province of Henan, archaeologists excavate the remains of settlements and graves. Through isotope analysis, lifestyle and eating habits of the former settlers can be reconstructed. Before the agricultural revolution, the start of agriculture and animal husbandry, there was no social difference between men and women.

In Europe, the remains of prehistoric cultures indicate that there were no gender hierarchies. The Megalithic Temples of Malta house statues of women, they are cult and fertility figures. Or the cave paintings in Altamira and Chauvet with hunting scenes from the Stone Age—many of them were painted by women.

News

  • - Riddle of the Bones at Pariscience International Science Film Festival

    Riddle of the Bones has been selected for the Pariscience International Science Film Festival. It will compete in the Science Télévision Competition. If the [...]

    Riddle of the Bones has been selected for the Pariscience International Science Film Festival. It will compete in the Science Télévision Competition. If the festival can be held in suitable conditions, the documentary will be screening, between October 23 and 26, at the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle or the Institut de Physique du Globe in Paris.


Riddle of the Bones: Gender Revolution

Men hunt, women gather—researchers uncover archaeological errors and turn the traditional gender roles upside down.

At the turn of the century, archaeologists discovered a tomb with swords, horses, bows and arrows in the Viking city of Birka. No one doubted the identity of this Viking: it was a warrior. But researchers from Stockholm University recently examined the bones using DNA analysis. The result: the grave belongs to a woman …

In the Chinese province of Henan, archaeologists excavate the remains of settlements and graves. Through isotope analysis, lifestyle and eating habits of the former settlers can be reconstructed. Before the agricultural revolution, the start of agriculture and animal husbandry, there was no social difference between men and women.

In Europe, the remains of prehistoric cultures indicate that there were no gender hierarchies. The Megalithic Temples of Malta house statues of women, they are cult and fertility figures. Or the cave paintings in Altamira and Chauvet with hunting scenes from the Stone Age—many of them were painted by women.

Director: Birgit Tanner, Carsten Gutschmidt
Based on an idea from: Daniela Pulverer, Boris Raim
Camera: Jens Boeck
Editor: Holger Fink
Creative Producer: Tuan Lam
Executive Producer: Reinhardt Beetz, Christian Beetz
Commissioning editors: Ruth Omphalius (ZDF), Peter Allenbach (ARTE)
Production coordination: Sebastian Johannsen

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ZDF Arte
  • TERRA X: Riddle of the Bones: Gender Revolution

    ZDFneo
    30 August 2020 at 11:25 am