Advertisement

Ungendering Archaeology: Concepts of Sex and Gender in Figurine Studies in Prehistory

  • Naomi Hamilton
Part of the Studies in Gender and Material Culture book series (SGMC)

Abstract

This chapter is concerned with the interpretation of prehistoric anthropomorphic figurines from eastern Europe and the Near East, and a methodology which classifies figures primarily by sex and then translates sex into stereotyped Western gender roles which may have no relevance to prehistory. The study of figurines is one of the few ways in which attempts have been made to address the roles of women in the past, but the discussion which has taken place demonstrates the need for a theory of gender and gender relations to support these attempts. Here I will examine some problems with traditional studies and their underlying ideologies, and will suggest other approaches which may be more enlightening.

Keywords

Gender Role Gender Relation Gender Ideology Female Figure Small Breast 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Bibliography

  1. Atkinson, J. (1990) ‘How Gender makes a Difference in Wana Society’, in J. Atkinson and S. Errington (eds), Power and Difference: Gender in Island Southeast Asia (Stanford).Google Scholar
  2. Broman, V. (1990) Figurines and Other Clay Objects from Sarab and CayönüGoogle Scholar
  3. Brown, P. and G. Buchbinder (eds) (1976) Man and Woman in the New Guinea Highlands ( Washington, DC ).Google Scholar
  4. Caplan, P. (ed.) (1987) The Cultural Construction of Sexuality (London).Google Scholar
  5. Eliade, M. (1964) Shamanism: Archaic techniques of Ecstasy (London).Google Scholar
  6. Evans-Pritchard, E. (n.d.) ‘Sexual Inversion among the Azande’, American Anthropologist, 72.Google Scholar
  7. Gimbutas, M. (1989) The Language of the Goddess (London).Google Scholar
  8. Goodison, L. (1989) Death, Women and the Sun (London).Google Scholar
  9. Kalicz, N. (1970) Clay Gods. The Neolithic period and Copper Age in Hungary (Budapest).Google Scholar
  10. Kalicz, N. et al. (eds) (1989) The Late Neolithic of the Tisza Region (Budapest).Google Scholar
  11. Karageorghis, V. (1981) Ancient Cyprus (Baton Rouge and London).Google Scholar
  12. Karageorghis, V. (1991) The Coroplastic Art of Ancient Cyprus 1 (Nicosia).Google Scholar
  13. Karageorghis, V. (1992) ‘Soldiers and Toys in the Coroplastic Art of Cyprus’, in P. Astrom (ed.), Acta Cypria 2. Proceedings of the 1991 Göteborg Congress on Cypriot Archaeology (Göteborg).Google Scholar
  14. Lamberg-Karlovsky, C. and R.H. Meadow (1970) ‘A Unique Female Figurine. The Neolithic at Tepe Yahya’, Archaeology, 23.Google Scholar
  15. Laqueur, T. (1990) Making Sex: Body and gender from the Greeks to Freud ( Cambridge, Mass.).Google Scholar
  16. Martin, E. (1987) The Woman in the Body. A cultural analysis of reproduction (Milton Keynes).Google Scholar
  17. Mead, M. (1935) Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies (London).Google Scholar
  18. Meigs, A.S. (1976) ‘Male Pregnancy and the Reduction of Sexual Opposition in a New Guinea Highlands Society’, Ethnology, 14.Google Scholar
  19. Merrillees, R.S. (1980) ‘Representation of the Human Form in Prehistoric Cyprus’, Opuscula Atheniensia, XIII: (12) p. 174.Google Scholar
  20. Morris, D. (1985) The Art of Ancient Cyprus (London).Google Scholar
  21. Nanda, S. (1990) Neither Man nor Woman: The Hijras of India ( Belmont, California).Google Scholar
  22. Nikolaou, K. (1972) ‘Mycenaean Terracotta Figurines in the Cyprus Museum’, Opuscula Atheniensia, V, pp. 47–57.Google Scholar
  23. Ohnefalsch-Richter, M. (1893) Kypros, the Bible and Homer (London).Google Scholar
  24. Orphanides, A.G. (1983) Bronze Age Anthropomorphic Figurines in the Cesnola Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Göteborg).Google Scholar
  25. Ortner, S. and H. Whitehead, (eds) (1981) Sexual Meanings. The cultural construction of gender and sexuality (Cambridge).Google Scholar
  26. Poole, F.J.P. (1981) ‘Transforming “Natural” Woman: Female ritual leaders and gender ideology among Bimin-Kuskusmin’, in S. Ortner and H. Whitehead (eds), Sexual Meanings. The cultural construction of gender and sexuality (Cambridge).Google Scholar
  27. Raymond, J. (1979) The Transsexual Empire (Boston).Google Scholar
  28. Renda, G. (ed.) (1993) Woman in Anatolia. 9000 Years of Anatolian women (Istanbul).Google Scholar
  29. Swiny, H. and S. Swiny (1983) ‘An Anthropomorphic Figurine from the Sotira area’ in Report of the Department of Antiquities (Nicosia).Google Scholar
  30. Tsountas, C. (1908) Ai Proistorikai Akropoleis Dimhniou kai Sesklou (Athens).Google Scholar
  31. Ucko, P.J. (1968) Anthropomorphic Figurines of Predynastic Egypt and Neolithic Crete with Comparative Material from the Prehistoric Near East and Mainland Greece (London).Google Scholar
  32. Vassits [Vasic], M.M. (1908) ‘South-east Elements in Pre-Historic Servia’, in Annual Report of the British School at Athens, XIV.Google Scholar
  33. Wace, A.J.B. and M.S. Thompson (1912) Prehistoric Thessaly (Cambridge).Google Scholar
  34. Whitehead, H. (1981) ‘The Bow and the Burden Strap: A new look at institution-alised homosexuality in native North America’, in S. Ortner and H. Whitehead (eds), Sexual Meanings. The cultural construction of gender and sexuality (Cambridge).Google Scholar
  35. Wikan, U. (1977) ‘Man becomes Woman: Transsexualism in Oman as a key to gender roles’, Man, 12.Google Scholar
  36. Wikan, U. (1978) ‘The Omani Xanith: A third gender role?’, Man, 13.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Naomi Hamilton

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations