gender roles in the stone age and interbreeding

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by orcot, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. orcot Valued Senior Member

    The perceived idea of the stone age was that there was a wide gender gap with males doing most of the hunting whilst women did basically all the rest (and stayed home or near their homes).

    What makes me wonder how did all these women interbreed with neanderthals if they stayed home? If it where men who slept with neanderthal women then it should mean that some humans should have neanderthale mitochondrial DNA (their is also other evidence) so we know this was mostly a women's thing. But it seems odd if Neanderthals could yust waltz into a village and have fun then they should have more or less identical cultures.
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  3. Sorcerer Put a Spell on you Registered Senior Member

    I don't suppose the stone age was a very peaceful time, so there would have been wars, which always lead to rape and pillage, which would be one way it could have happened.

    Or some groups banded together for safety, and the interbreeding occurred that way.

    Or the males got killed or died of disease and the women were taken by another group.
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  5. orcot Valued Senior Member

    My occam's razor would be that the women yust went out of their cave unsupervised and had sex and they did it under the pretect of hunting.

    a possibility however apart from food their was very little to pillage and if you have no food then it's a bad time to give birth.
    This would mean Neanderthals and humans lived in the same housing at the same time we don't see that. And differences in culture won't agree with that
    humans today have abouth 4% neanderthal DNA those children are survivors they must have been succesful both biological and sociological.
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  7. Sorcerer Put a Spell on you Registered Senior Member

    I doubt that, actually. Groups would have had reasonable size terroritories so sneaking out to get laid on the quiet and then making it back before the men returned would be difficult. Possible I suppose, but not easy. Dangerous too, individuals alone in the wildnerness.
  8. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    Yes. Yes, it is.

    Where... does one even start?
  9. Sorcerer Put a Spell on you Registered Senior Member

    That's not a useful post. What do you mean?
  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    The men were hunters, the women were gatherers. We see the evidence of that in our eyes. Human male eyes are good at tracking motion, an important ability for a hunter. Female eyes are much better at distinguishing colors, an indispensible skill for someone who has to distinguish the ripe fruit from the unripe and the poisonous herbs from the medicinal. (If you don't believe this, watch a clueless man being led around the paint department by his wife, wondering why there are so many different names for the same shade of pink. Or in a fabric store: I personally am convinced that "navy blue" is just another name for black.)

    There was no Gerber canned baby food in those days, so women had to breastfeed. This means that they had to keep their children with them. This is impossible on a hunting expedition, so they stayed close to camp and picked the fruits, herbs and vegetables.

    The hybridization with Neanderthals happened during a relatively short period of time when the Ice Age was ending so Europe became warmer. Neanderthals were strong but slow, their arms didn't have the range of motion ours have (they could never have used a bow and arrow), and they weren't buoyant so they couldn't swim. As the ice and slow melted, the large, fatty, slow-moving animals that Neanderthals were suited for hunting were being replaced by smaller, faster animals that were the perfect prey for Homo sapiens.

    The two species are not so different that they would not find each other minimally attractive. If you met a Neanderthal walking down the sidewalk, about all you'd think is, "She's kinda short but man, check out those muscles!" In addition, every H. sapiens clan could probably use a couple of Neanderthals for the heavy lifting. So it's likely that they made peace with each other.
  11. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    May I suggest that your initial premise is way beyond flawed, to the point of providing you with an almost complete misdirection.

    There is no archaeological evidence to suggest that our modern day industrialized society/culture built upon an agrarian society/culture perceptions of a "gender gap" did or did not exist within the hunter gatherer culture of our ancestors. There is only a very short time within a woman's life wherein she will be encumbered just before and after giving birth.
    (anecdote) The mother of a girl in my highschool liked to race stock cars---one day, she won her race, then went to the hospital and gave birth to her daughter. The following weekend, she entered and won another race.

    (another anecdotal story I like to employ)
    There is almost nothing on this world that a full grown male grizzly bear fears. One main exception, would be a momma grizzly bear with cubs. She may be smaller, but when she does attack, she simply will not quit until the threat to her cubs is moving away from them at a satisfactory rate of speed.

    By and large, hunter gatherers tended to exploit a seasonal range of habitats and food sources in a circuit that sustained them year after year.
    This meant that everyone was mobile men, women, and children all moving together. eg: be in the meadows or bogs when the berries ripen---be at the river when the migrating herds swim across it---and again when the salmon return----etc...etc...

    The main problem with anthropologists/archaeologists is that we tend to see the past filtered through our current known patterns, perspectives, and prejudices.
    From the timing of the first evidence found(SO FAR), it would seem that homo-sapiens-sapiens developed art and music shortly after interbreeding with homo-sapiens-neanderthalensis.
    And, yet(SO FAR) there is no archaeological evidence that neanderthalensis had either of these.
    Is that confusing?

    Many years ago: One female anthropologist hypothesized that women did more of the fishing when it meant being in the cold water---which led to more subcutaneous fat deposits, and a better ability to float. How could anyone support or disprove that? Much like purgatory, the "hypothesis" will most likely linger between heaven and earth-- always an hypothesis and never a theory, nor ground into dust.

    Anthropology is very like that. So little is known, so much is speculated. From the archaeological record, we can tell the climate in which the subjects under study lived, we can know how they made their more durable tools, and how they used them, we know they had music and art circa 30-35kybp, we can make fairly accurate estimates of their diets, ...etc...

    For the rest, we must guess. And to guess well we need to free ourselves from our cultural prejudices.
    I was somewhat taken aback when Klaus Schmidt referred to the disinterred structures as "temples".
    The word is heavily nuanced specific to our time and culture. A tad too nuanced for my tastes to go tossing it about like candy to children.

    (sorry, I tend to ramble some days)
  12. orcot Valued Senior Member

    I can believe most of it up to a point.
    The clearest fault I can find is with the buoyantsy neanderthals where proven mariners. Humans (in the broadest terms) have never been the strongest/fastest/poisenest etc creature but we are pretty smart (and mad). We tend to find a working solution for all that we need and our physical form barley defines us at all.

    That was stupid impressive but stupid and likely the cause why the birth happend yust right aftherwards.

    possible art has been found, the el castillo cave art in spain predates the arrival of homo sapiens sapiens making neanderthals the most likely painters
  13. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    I have no idea. Probably something rather enlightening at the time.

    Other than: This really is a silly thread, you know.
  14. orcot Valued Senior Member

    it's a free tought on a subject that clearly changed a lot over the ages. It makes people look up the newest facts and tells something abouth ourself also.

    The stone ages are a interesting time they happenend in a time that a significant portion of the population believes to be older then the age of the universe. It was a time where significant groups of Humans roamed the world at the same times homo sapiens, neanderthals, denovians, red dear cave people, rhodesiensis,erectus only small groups ever met each other because of the distances between them. But it was a time intelligent species died out like any other species.
    A time that if you where dropt there today they would probably consider you a other species (homo sapiens back then where smaller and had bigger heads with bigger brains and centainly weren't caucasian "white")
  15. quinnsong Valued Senior Member

    Oh please Sir, do spread some of your wisdom in this place.

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