Gender and Labor at the Dawn of Agriculture
By (author) Jane Peterson
Publication date:18 September 2002
Length of book:192 pages
The change from a hunting-gathering lifestyle to one dependent upon farming constitutes a truly 'revolutionary' event in the human career. Most archaeologists agree that how ancient people organized their work and family groups was crucial to the success of early attempts at farming. Yet little serious attention has been paid to the social organization of labor in the prehistoric past. This book addresses that lacuna by investigating sexual divisions of labor. As a case study, Peterson chose the southern Levant of West Asia, where the world's first farming societies emerged some 10,000 years ago. Shattering long held assumptions about women's work that lead to generalizations about gender roles, Peterson shows that gender studies can be both scientific and thoroughly grounded in feminist theory.
Jane Peterson's new book provides a fresh and provocative look at the dynamic nature of gender-related roles and subsistence changes in the Levant. Her work melds archaeological data with the exciting new field of habitual activity analysis, supplying the reader with a thought-provoking contribution to both bioarchaeology and gender issues.