Magazine article New Internationalist

Invisible Women of Prehistory

Magazine article New Internationalist

Invisible Women of Prehistory

Article excerpt

Invisible Women of Prehistory by Judy Foster with Marlene Derlet (Spinifex, ISBN 9781876756918)

'Three million years of peace, six thousand years of war' proclaims the sub-header of this provocative (to men, at least) tome. The basic argument posited by Judy Foster is that until the emergence of the Indo-Europeans around 6,000 years ago, the world was a much more peaceful place - because women had an equal, if not superior, status to men. Through exhaustive research, Foster unearths the 'Female Principle' and goddess cultures which guided prehistoric society, and explains that study of ancient artifacts, drawings and burial sites has revealed little, if any, culture of war among 'primitive' peoples. Foster argues that women may have had a fundamental role in the development of language and agriculture, and that matriarchal communities were sophisticated, complex and successful. …

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