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Women Were Warrior Hunters, Not Homemakers

Most of us were taught in school that our female ancestors stayed behind and looked after the children and gathered nuts and berries while the men in the tribe speared woolly mammoths.

But it turns out that theory is just plain wrong. New research has debunked the hunter-gather theory, finding there was a high number of our female ancestors out there hunting as well.

A group of anthropologists from Washington and Seattle Pacific universities analysed 63 modern hunter-gatherer societies, including 14 in Australia. They found that women hunted in nearly 80 per cent of them and they hunted for big game, leaving the kids behind.

Dr Cara Wall-Scheffler was one of the researchers involved in this project and she joins Katrina Blowers on today’s episode of The Briefing Podcast.

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“Women almost always hunt with others. There were definitely women particularly older, very experienced women who would go out by themselves, but often women would go out with their husband, with their sister, with their friend, with groups of people and often in community with others.”

“Australia has absolutely some of the very best evidence for women going out every single day to purposefully hunt. So this is absolutely a part of the Australian narrative.”

Its thought early anthropological work was carried out by men who inflated the importance of men’s roles which is why this was not uncovered until now.