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Thread: Social inequality already in Bronze Age Households in Central Europe (Bavaria, Lechfeld)

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    Default Social inequality already in Bronze Age Households in Central Europe (Bavaria, Lechfeld)

    Archaeology: Social inequality in Bronze Age households

    Date: October 10, 2019

    Source: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

    Summary: Archaeogenetic analyses provide new insights into social inequality 4,000 years ago: nuclear families lived together with foreign women and individuals from lower social classes in the same household.

    Archaeogenetic analyses provide new insights into social inequality 4000 years ago: nuclear families lived together with foreign women and individuals from lower social classes in the same household.

    Social inequality already existed in southern Germany 4000 years ago, even within one household, a new study published in the journal Science finds. Archaeological and archaeogenetic analyses of Bronze Age cemeteries in the Lech Valley, near Augsburg, show that families of biologically related persons with higher status lived together with unrelated women who came from afar and also had a high status, according to their grave goods. In addition, a larger number of local but clearly less well-off individuals were found in the same cemeteries, which were small gravesites associated with single homesteads. The researchers conclude that social inequality was already part of households structures in that time and region. Whether the less well-off individuals were servants or slaves can only be speculated upon.
    In Central Europe, the Bronze Age covers the period from 2200 to 800 BCE. At that time people acquired the ability to cast bronze. This knowledge led to an early globalization, since the raw materials had to be transported across Europe. In an earlier study, the current team had shown that, 4000 years ago, the majority of women in the Lech Valley came from abroad and may have played a decisive role in the transfer of knowledge. Supraregional networks were apparently fostered by marriages and institutionalized forms of mobility.
    The current archaeological-scientific project was situated at the Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and led by Philipp Stockhammer from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich together with Johannes Krause and Alissa Mittnik from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena and the University of Tübingen. The researchers attempted to investigate the effects of this mobility and other concurrent changes. The excavations south of Augsburg, which took place at the sites of Bronze Age homestead farms and their associated graveyards, enabled archaeologists to zoom into the Bronze Age in unprecedented resolution in order to investigate how the transition from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age affected the households of that time. "Wealth was correlated with either biological kinship or foreign origin. The nuclear family passed on their property and status over generations. But at every farm we also found poorly equipped people of local origin," says Philipp Stockhammer, Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology at LMU Munich. This finding suggests a complex social structure of households, as is also known from Classical Greece and Rome. In Roman times, slaves were also part of the family unit, but had a different social status. However, these people in the Lech Valley lived over 1500 years earlier. "This shows how long the history of social inequality in family structures goes back in time," Stockhammer continues.
    Stable social structures over 700 years
    It was already known that the first larger hierarchical social structures evolved in the Bronze Age. The findings of the current study were surprising in that social differences existed within a single household and were maintained over generations.
    Grave goods can reveal the social status of the deceased to archaeologists. In the Lech Valley, weapons and elaborate jewelry were only found in the graves of closely related family members and women who came into the family from long distances, up to several hundred kilometers away. Other unrelated individuals of local origin were found in the same cemeteries without such high-status grave goods.
    This study also succeeded in reconstructing for the first time family trees from prehistoric cemeteries spanning four to five generations. Surprisingly, however, these only included the male lineages. The female descendants apparently left the farms where they reached adulthood. The mothers of the sons, on the other hand, were all women who had moved in from afar. "Archaeogenetics provides us with a completely new view of the past. Until recently, we would not have thought it possible to examine marriage rules, social structure and social inequality in prehistory," says Johannes Krause, Director of the Department of Archaeogenetics at the Max Planck Institute for Human History.
    The archaeologists on the project were able to compare the degree of kinship with the grave goods and the location of the graves and show how couples and their children were buried. This was made possible by generating genome-wide data from more than 100 ancient skeletons, which allowed reconstructing family tress from prehistoric bone. Only the genetically unrelated local members of a household were buried without significant grave goods. "Unfortunately, we cannot say whether these individuals were servants and maids or perhaps even enslaved," says Alissa Mittnik. "What is certain is that through the male lines, the farmsteads were passed from generation to generation and this system was stable over at least 700 years, across the transition from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age. The Lech Valley shows how early social inequality within individual households can be found."



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    Default Re: Social inequality already in Bronze Age Households in Central Europe (Bavaria, Lechfeld)

    When I first starting working with Tel Aviv University, I was told that they were particularity interested in working with more people who had a background in anthropology. Some comments in the quoted article suggest to me Universität München may want to do the same. Particularly this:

    Surprisingly, however, these only included the male lineages. The female descendants apparently left the farms where they reached adulthood. The mothers of the sons, on the other hand, were all women who had moved in from afar.
    There is nothing surprising about it. This is the social structure of more than 70% of cultures in the modern ethnographic record. It was even more prevalent in prehistory, and appears to have been the social structure of all pre-human hominins and our closest relatives, such as Neanderthals. It is likewise the social structure of chimpanzees. Bonobos deviate from this, but then they do tend to be be deviants in general.

    Social inequality exists in all human societies, including hunter-gatherers. It is not an invention of Bronze Age or even the Neolithic. However, the degree of disparity and the degree to which it may be observable in the archaeological record correlates with certain social and technological developments. In a hunter-gatherer society, there is simply a limit to how much wealth and prestige one can acquire. People lived in small semi-nomadic groups (roaming within a territory), so one couldn't own more than could be carried, and there simply wasn't much to be owned that others couldn't just make for themselves. With herding and agriculture it became possible to acquire significantly more relative wealth, but this wasn't nearly so pronounced until the advent of occupational specialization enabled by food surpluses, because then you had a class of artisans engaged the production of material goods.

    Though to be fair, my critique may only be applicable to whoever wrote the press release. I assume Philipp Stockhammer knows what's up, and while not at all surprising to me, the research is quite interesting.
    Quote Originally Posted by Enros View Post
    You don't seem to be familiar with how the burden of proof works in when discussing social justice. It's not like science where it lies on the one making the claim. If someone claims to be oppressed, they don't have to prove it.


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    Carmen Sylva's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: Social inequality already in Bronze Age Households in Central Europe (Bavaria, Lechfeld)

    I guess the main point of the study is, that this central european Bronze Age society around Lechfeld was already highly social differentiated, so that some "noblemen" could accumulate huge wealth, which manifested oneself in high-status gravegoods. This means, that those "noblemen" had already the time and the economical surplus (food and other goods) to trade for this high status goods. So they were not only subsistence farmer anymore, but large-scale farmers with many helping hands from a lower status. And this trade network must have been already excellent, as their wifes came from other high-status families several hundered kilometers away. Finally this society was remarkable political stable as obviosly the property was inherited from male heir to male heir over 700 years. So it is already on a cultural high level.

    If i understand it correct, it ended with the emergence of the Urnfield culture around 1300 BC.
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    Default Re: Social inequality already in Bronze Age Households in Central Europe (Bavaria, Lechfeld)

    A "Nature" article about this study:

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03046-w

    “Half the archaeologists think ancient DNA can solve everything. The other half think ancient DNA is the devil’s work,” quips Philipp Stockhammer, a researcher at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, who works closely with geneticists and molecular biologists at an institute in Germany that was set up a few years ago to build bridges between the disciplines. The technology is no silver bullet, he says, but archaeologists ignore it at their peril.

    in an interesting article: Divided by DNA: The uneasy relationship between archaeology and ancient genomics

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-03773-6
    Last edited by Carmen Sylva; October 12, 2019 at 10:19 PM.
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    Default Re: Social inequality already in Bronze Age Households in Central Europe (Bavaria, Lechfeld)

    Quote Originally Posted by Carmen Sylva View Post
    “Half the archaeologists think ancient DNA can solve everything. The other half think ancient DNA is the devil’s work,” quips Philipp Stockhammer, a researcher at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, who works closely with geneticists and molecular biologists at an institute in Germany that was set up a few years ago to build bridges between the disciplines. The technology is no silver bullet, he says, but archaeologists ignore it at their peril.

    in an interesting article: Divided by DNA: The uneasy relationship between archaeology and ancient genomics

    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-03773-6
    It’s a good article. Well balanced. I’d be less charitable in characterizing those who are trying to moralize being wrong by insinuating that geneticists don’t understand nuance. There’s no shame in being wrong. So if you think you made a good argument that fit the available data at the time, get over it, move on. It's more than that though, it's also what I was referring to here.

    Yuval Gadot, who has headed a number of high profile excavations, has a presentation on methodological issues in archaeology that he does sometimes which involves showing a picture to the audience and asking what it is. In one example, everyone sees a grassy hill, then he shows the picture zoomed out, and everyone realizes that what looked like a hill is actually a mossy patch on the back of an elephant carved out of stone. Then he zooms the picture out even further, and everyone is surprised to realize that it isn’t an elephant at all. It’s actually a rocky cliff along the ocean shore. What had looked like the elephant’s legs and trunk are actually gaps eroded away from the stone cliff by waves. And as it turns out, that actually was a grassy hill at the top of the cliff after all.
    Quote Originally Posted by Enros View Post
    You don't seem to be familiar with how the burden of proof works in when discussing social justice. It's not like science where it lies on the one making the claim. If someone claims to be oppressed, they don't have to prove it.


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    Default Re: Social inequality already in Bronze Age Households in Central Europe (Bavaria, Lechfeld)

    Proposing social behavior from ancient remains is a guesswork, at best. There could be any number of explanations for the presence or absence of grave goods, and the interpretation that these artifacts are indicative of a "social structure" is an unprovable hypothesis. One should also factor in the relative lack of temporal specificity for these overlapping burials and stratified remains. What is being represented in these articles are the association of remains that may in actuality be separated by many decades or even hundreds of years.

    That being said, slavery and servitude in various degrees was universally practiced and the conclusion that social stratification existed or was present in these materials isn't noteworthy or even adds an explanatory value to the material.

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    Default Re: Social inequality already in Bronze Age Households in Central Europe (Bavaria, Lechfeld)

    Quote Originally Posted by sumskilz View Post
    ...

    There is nothing surprising about it. This is the social structure of more than 70% of cultures in the modern ethnographic record. It was even more prevalent in prehistory, and appears to have been the social structure of all pre-human hominins and our closest relatives, such as Neanderthals. It is likewise the social structure of chimpanzees. Bonobos deviate from this, but then they do tend to be be deviants in general....
    Send more Anthropologists.

    In my brief Archaeological studies in the 1980's we were taught heritable status came in the Bronze Age, Catal Huyuk was not a city because something something, and women typically "were in charge of agriculture" (presumably the men were hunting and fishing). There were a few alcoholics in the department and I think I got most of them.

    Not sure how you prove heritable status, maybe really old grave goods previously owned by the deceased's grandparents? The few swidden/hoe agriculture societies I've heard of have women doing most of the digging, but men have to pollard the trees and do other jobs.

    Does moving to a new kin group lead to a loss of status for women vis a vis the minority of societies where the men move?

    Quote Originally Posted by sumskilz View Post
    ...
    Yuval Gadot, who has headed a number of high profile excavations, has a presentation on methodological issues in archaeology that he does sometimes which involves showing a picture to the audience and asking what it is. In one example, everyone sees a grassy hill, then he shows the picture zoomed out, and everyone realizes that what looked like a hill is actually a mossy patch on the back of an elephant carved out of stone. Then he zooms the picture out even further, and everyone is surprised to realize that it isn’t an elephant at all. It’s actually a rocky cliff along the ocean shore. What had looked like the elephant’s legs and trunk are actually gaps eroded away from the stone cliff by waves. And as it turns out, that actually was a grassy hill at the top of the cliff after all.
    First i was like...


    ...but then I was like...
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    Default Re: Social inequality already in Bronze Age Households in Central Europe (Bavaria, Lechfeld)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclops View Post
    Does moving to a new kin group lead to a loss of status for women vis a vis the minority of societies where the men move?
    That's a complicated question. By necessity, the answer has to really be based on anthropology more than archaeology (although in the US, archaeology is a sub-field of anthropology).

    Patrilocal is the term for the predominate human social structure. In a patrilocal society, offspring are raised in the home of their male lineage. Home is broadly defined, it could be literally a house, or an estate, or a village, or a tribal territory, etc. Whether involving long distance travel or not, a woman becomes part of her husband’s family. This is usually accompanied by primarily patrilineal inheritance of wealth and identity. The core identity group is a male lineage which women join. The lineage could involve some fictive kinship at the extended level, but the existence of such fictive kinship is a testament to the importance given to this view of the identity group.

    Patrilocal/patrilineal societies are particularly concerned with paternal certainty, because fathers invest heavily in their offspring in material wealth, provisioning, and mentoring (at least with older male offspring). This is one possible evolutionary based strategy exaggerated by culture. For this reason, patrilocal/patrilineal societies develop cultural conventions which monitor and control women’s sexuality to a much greater extent. Women tend to be both protected and more likely to be isolated from the broader public. A woman tends to be offered more protection because she’s more valuable to a husband who has invested in here, but more isolated because there is a desire to put up social boundaries between her and other men. So in such societies, there is greater emphasis on what could be called benevolent sexism, as well as a moralizing of women’s place in the private rather than public sphere. Obviously the degree and the nature of these tendencies vary, and take different forms, such as in a urbanized verses forager society for example.

    Matrilocal/matrilineal societies are the second most common and make up the bulk of the remainder. They are still structured on male kinship groups, but women and offspring remain in the own home of their matrilineage (broadly defined) and inheritance of wealth and identity is primarily matrilineal. Men don’t actually relocate to live with the women on any permanent basis, they tend to just drop by, mostly for sex. This is not to say there isn’t any pair-bonding, but that such bonds that do exist tend to be more superficial and short-lived. There is also very little paternal investment in offspring. What paternal investment there is tends to be indirect and limited to gifts given to the mother. The children’s primary male role-models are their maternal uncles and maternal grandfather.

    Matrilocal/matrilineal societies are much less concerned about paternal certainty because it doesn’t really matter that much. Men don’t invest much in their children and may have multiple women they visit. For example one woman in each town they visit on business, if they can manage it. For this reason, women have a lot more sexual freedom in such societies. Women also have a greater role in the public sphere, partly this is because they have to fend for themselves more. A woman's brothers are simply less invested in supporting her than a husband who has exclusive sexual access to her is. Despite whatever we may think or feel subjectively, empirical evidence supports the notion than human investment tends to follow the same coefficient of relatedness formula that other species’ evolutionary strategies are based on. A man in a matrilocal society cares about his sisters and nephews, but he’s spends most of his effort on getting with other women. Women in matrilocal/matrilineal societies tend to have more freedoms and more responsibilities. However, this a double-edged sword because they usually have to spend as much (or nearly as much) effort as a man does in supporting themselves while doing the vast majority of the work raising young children.

    So to answer as to whether women have a higher status in matrilocal versus patrilocal societies, it depends. The obvious answer might seem like it would be matrilocal. In a traditional matrilocal society, women tend to be involved in a trade so they may have a higher public status based on what they produce. Whereas the preference in a patrilocal society is that women focus on family in the private sphere. In a matrilocal/matrilineal society, a woman’s status largely depends on what she produces economically, but she is ultimately limited by the fact that she can only produce so much while simultaneously caring for a large number of children most of her life. Traditional matrilocal/matrilineal societies are still patriarchal for the most part, though not to the same degree as a patrilocal/patrilineal society. However, in a patrilocal/patrilineal society a young woman can leverage her physical attractiveness for high status that may last throughout her life, especially if she's also clever, because she tends to inherit some degree of social status from her husband and sons. In a patrilocal/patrilineal society, a woman can potentially wield a great deal of soft power in the form of influence over her husband and/or male offspring. Think Julia Maesa of the Severan dynasty for an extreme example.

    Western culture obviously evolved from a patrilocal/patrilineal society, but you may notice that it has taken on some characteristics of a traditional matrilocal/matrilineal society as women have gained more freedoms. Nevertheless, the matrilocal/matrilineal mindset is pretty foreign to Western culture. I have an anthropologist friend from Ghana who explained to me that his kids aren’t part of his family, that he’s never really thought of them as family, and finds the idea kind of strange. He also claims matrilocal/matrilineal societies are much better for men, because an in demand man can make the rounds at the homes of many different women and "borrow" enough money from each to spend most of the day at the pub or at the beach.

    There are supposedly also a few matrilocal societies in which the man really does join the woman's family. You can count them on one hand. The ethnographic record may be a bit suspect in those particular cases, from what I'm familiar with anyway. If true, it's like polyandry, rare enough that it must arise in some very specific circumstances, and so is unlikely to be generalizable to the past.
    Last edited by sumskilz; October 15, 2019 at 08:12 AM. Reason: fixed typos
    Quote Originally Posted by Enros View Post
    You don't seem to be familiar with how the burden of proof works in when discussing social justice. It's not like science where it lies on the one making the claim. If someone claims to be oppressed, they don't have to prove it.


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    Default Re: Social inequality already in Bronze Age Households in Central Europe (Bavaria, Lechfeld)

    Cannot swing online access to science at the moment, but what jumps out at me from the Nature article is the lack of genetic evidence that high status females were not wives.

    "But no children of theirs were found in the Lech Valley graves. One possibility is that females travelled hundreds of kilometres to the Lech Valley as part of alliances between wealthy families, and that any children were then returned to their mothers’ native lands. The grave goods of some of the foreign females resemble those of the Únětice culture in the Czech Republic, Eastern Germany and Poland from around the same time."

    The write ups keep making comparisons to Greece. But while in some legal situations a women might end up back with here birth family, in general she was moving to a different one as a wife and thus would detectable in decent.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB Dromikaites

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    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

    Hyperides of Athens: We know, replied he, that Antipater is good, but we (the Demos of Athens) have no need of a master at present, even a good one.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Social inequality already in Bronze Age Households in Central Europe (Bavaria, Lechfeld)

    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    Cannot swing online access to science at the moment, but what jumps out at me from the Nature article is the lack of genetic evidence that high status females were not wives.

    "But no children of theirs were found in the Lech Valley graves. One possibility is that females travelled hundreds of kilometres to the Lech Valley as part of alliances between wealthy families, and that any children were then returned to their mothers’ native lands. The grave goods of some of the foreign females resemble those of the Únětice culture in the Czech Republic, Eastern Germany and Poland from around the same time."

    The write ups keep making comparisons to Greece. But while in some legal situations a women might end up back with here birth family, in general she was moving to a different one as a wife and thus would detectable in decent.
    The logic is, we found no offspring, therefore she was not a wife, but that could just be holes in the data.

    Most of the wives are missing in this elite pedigree:



    POST_131 is obviously a local female, but she was a child when she died. I couldn't find any isotopic analysis for POST_35, the only wife here.
    Last edited by sumskilz; October 15, 2019 at 09:13 AM. Reason: I blame Israel for the degradation of my English.
    Quote Originally Posted by Enros View Post
    You don't seem to be familiar with how the burden of proof works in when discussing social justice. It's not like science where it lies on the one making the claim. If someone claims to be oppressed, they don't have to prove it.


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    Default Re: Social inequality already in Bronze Age Households in Central Europe (Bavaria, Lechfeld)

    Thanks. Interesting 35 would seem to a critical in making the conclusion one way or the other lack of data is unfortunate. But than again Science papers (or worse the short notices) are notoriously slim. Might just have to wait for follow up work/publications.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB Dromikaites

    'One day when I fly with my hands - up down the sky, like a bird'

    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

    Hyperides of Athens: We know, replied he, that Antipater is good, but we (the Demos of Athens) have no need of a master at present, even a good one.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Social inequality already in Bronze Age Households in Central Europe (Bavaria, Lechfeld)

    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    Thanks. Interesting 35 would seem to a critical in making the conclusion one way or the other lack of data is unfortunate. But than again Science papers (or worse the short notices) are notoriously slim. Might just have to wait for follow up work/publications.
    In this case, it seems I just didn't try hard enough the first time. The actual paper doesn't say much, but there is a lot of supplemental material to dig through. She is local, or at least probably not from far away. I wouldn't expect all the women to be from far away, regardless of the typical marriage practices. Anyway, these are all the individuals from that particular site:



    As you can see, quite a few have no identified familial affiliation, but only those two women appear to be from far away. Looks like they tested a second tooth for each after being skeptical of the result. I like that, but I don't see any reason to assume the marital status of any of those unaffiliated adults. I likewise suspect those unaffiliated children had parents.
    Quote Originally Posted by Enros View Post
    You don't seem to be familiar with how the burden of proof works in when discussing social justice. It's not like science where it lies on the one making the claim. If someone claims to be oppressed, they don't have to prove it.


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    Default Re: Social inequality already in Bronze Age Households in Central Europe (Bavaria, Lechfeld)

    Thank you again sir... If there is anything you are looking for do ask I have an odd set of easy legacy access. But try as I might Science at least recent ones are not working.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB Dromikaites

    'One day when I fly with my hands - up down the sky, like a bird'

    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

    Hyperides of Athens: We know, replied he, that Antipater is good, but we (the Demos of Athens) have no need of a master at present, even a good one.

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    Default Re: Social inequality already in Bronze Age Households in Central Europe (Bavaria, Lechfeld)

    I am not sure why the results are so surprising, if I understand them correctly. If the farms are inherited by males, then their wives would not likely be their relatives, or at least, near relatives. Any sisters they had would have been married and buried with their husband's family, and the wives the inheritors of the farm would be from outside the farm and likely unrelated. The findings do indicate that the burials was not of a close knit society, where the same families intermarried for years, and indicates there was a preference for marrying outside the local group/

    Also, we act as if an indication that signs of social inequality is necessarily a bad thing. Social inequality is an indication that a society is becoming more advance and sophisticated. A hunter-gathering society has very little social inequality, but they don't build sophisticated buildings. Our society has a great deal of social inequality compared to a hunter-gatherer society, Bill Gates is far richer than I will ever dream of being, but we are still better off and I would not trade places with a member of those societies. To my thinking, the evidence of social inequality indicates that the societies in question were more sophisticated and advanced than we might have thought.

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    Default Re: Social inequality already in Bronze Age Households in Central Europe (Bavaria, Lechfeld)

    Its not out group marriage that is notable. It is rather the data such as it is seems to allow the possibility/suggusten that the high status women do not show up in the genetic data. That is not mothers.
    IN PATROCINIVM SVB Dromikaites

    'One day when I fly with my hands - up down the sky, like a bird'

    But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place; some swearing, some crying for surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left.

    Hyperides of Athens: We know, replied he, that Antipater is good, but we (the Demos of Athens) have no need of a master at present, even a good one.

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    Default Re: Social inequality already in Bronze Age Households in Central Europe (Bavaria, Lechfeld)

    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    Its not out group marriage that is notable. It is rather the data such as it is seems to allow the possibility/suggusten that the high status women do not show up in the genetic data. That is not mothers.
    Wait what? They're vestals or something? I had an unexamined noituon female staus would be linked directly to reproduction, but maybe they are women playing a "male" role (right down to the important male "not getting pregnant" role).
    Jatte lambastes Calico Rat

  17. #17

    Default Re: Social inequality already in Bronze Age Households in Central Europe (Bavaria, Lechfeld)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclops View Post
    Wait what? They're vestals or something? I had an unexamined noituon female staus would be linked directly to reproduction, but maybe they are women playing a "male" role (right down to the important male "not getting pregnant" role).
    It's a possibility suggested by the authors.

    Some context:

    Strontium and oxygen isotopic ratios revealed significantly more non-local females than males and children (figs. S10 and S11). Chi-square tests and ANOVA on Ranks confirmed that the isotope data of females and males as well as females and subadult individuals differed significantly, whereas differences between adult males and subadult individuals were not significant (6). This suggests patrilocal residential rules, with males predominantly staying, or at least being buried, with their families. Three of the adult males are exceptional as they exhibit a shift of strontium isotope ratios from their first to their third molars (fig. S12), indicating a movement away from their birthplaces during adolescence, and a return as adults. A similar analysis of early and late developing molars in females suggests that their movements from outside the Lech valley occurred in adolescence or later, as evidenced by non-local isotope ratios in early and late forming teeth (fig. S12).
    In addition, only one maternal lineage (mtDNA) lasts longer than a single generation.





    Out of 104 individuals, 10 parent-offspring pairs were found, 6 of which were mother-offspring pairs. In 9 out of 10 of those pairs, the offspring was a male. Males with relatives buried nearby were mostly higher status and all from the same lineage.

    So out of 46 adult females, only 4 had offspring among the burials. 3 out of 4 of these mothers were high status. Among the 42 women for whom no offspring were discovered, 3 were high status females of non-local origin. While it's worthwhile to note the observation, I personally don’t find it particularly remarkable, considering the number of individuals for whom no offspring, no spouse, and/or no parents were found, and that it appears that any adult female offspring would have been buried elsewhere.

    EDIT: It's 6 mother-offspring pairs but only 4 mothers because 1 mother had 3 sons.
    Last edited by sumskilz; October 19, 2019 at 07:48 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Enros View Post
    You don't seem to be familiar with how the burden of proof works in when discussing social justice. It's not like science where it lies on the one making the claim. If someone claims to be oppressed, they don't have to prove it.


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    Default Re: Social inequality already in Bronze Age Households in Central Europe (Bavaria, Lechfeld)

    @ sumskilz

    Out of 104 individuals, 10 parent-offspring pairs were found, 6 of which were mother-offspring pairs. In 9 out of 10 of those pairs, the offspring was a male. Males with relatives buried nearby were mostly higher status and all from the same lineage.

    So out of 46 adult females, only 4 had offspring among the burials. 3 out of 4 of these mothers were high status. Among the 42 women for whom no offspring were discovered, 3 were high status females of non-local origin. While it's worthwhile to note the observation, I personally don’t find it particularly remarkable, considering the number of individuals for whom no offspring, no spouse, and/or no parents were found, and that it appears that any adult female offspring would have been buried elsewhere.

    But its Science. There is always a bit of pressure to make your limited space turn up new data. Nobody gets published their for reconfirming data, or adding incrementally to the robustness of the scientific endeavor but just in a slightly improved way or god help honestly trying to publishing the negative results of a large project (or pass on Science and publish in an open journal so you know all kinds of researches who don't have access will get it) - err wait did that just slide into a criticism of the current publication system?
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    Default Re: Social inequality already in Bronze Age Households in Central Europe (Bavaria, Lechfeld)

    Bizarre. A few scenarios occur to me. 1. lesbian queens of the bronze age. 2. Non local females as sacrificial proxies. Gallic "wicker man" sacrifices did use proxies, often criminals and foreign captives so its possible.

    Probably the remains don't show cause of death, but it'd be good to know so we could rule in out the chance the mother son pairings are families being sacrificed to accompany a dead warrior.
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    Default Re: Social inequality already in Bronze Age Households in Central Europe (Bavaria, Lechfeld)

    Quote Originally Posted by conon394 View Post
    But its Science. There is always a bit of pressure to make your limited space turn up new data. Nobody gets published their for reconfirming data, or adding incrementally to the robustness of the scientific endeavor but just in a slightly improved way or god help honestly trying to publishing the negative results of a large project (or pass on Science and publish in an open journal so you know all kinds of researches who don't have access will get it) - err wait did that just slide into a criticism of the current publication system?
    Yeah, I think that's what's going on here. One hundred and four ancient genomes tied to meticulously documented archaeological context is a significant contribution that will be cited for decades, but they needed a hook to sell it to the publisher.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclops View Post
    Bizarre. A few scenarios occur to me. 1. lesbian queens of the bronze age. 2. Non local females as sacrificial proxies. Gallic "wicker man" sacrifices did use proxies, often criminals and foreign captives so its possible.
    My hypothesis, which you may have picked up on if I wasn't too subtle, is somewhat dull in comparison - there is nothing unusual about these women. When no offspring were found for 91% of the women in the study, I don't see why these few require any special explanation. If absence among the excavated burials is so striking, then we should be much more concerned about explaining the 98% of subadult individuals for whom no parents were found. I suspect they did indeed have parents, but perhaps they were the result of spontaneous generation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclops View Post
    Probably the remains don't show cause of death, but it'd be good to know so we could rule in out the chance the mother son pairings are families being sacrificed to accompany a dead warrior.
    If discernible, that will probably be published in the excavation reports for each of the sites. Although, since the excavators appear to be coauthors on this paper, I assume anything particularly notable would have been mentioned.
    Quote Originally Posted by Enros View Post
    You don't seem to be familiar with how the burden of proof works in when discussing social justice. It's not like science where it lies on the one making the claim. If someone claims to be oppressed, they don't have to prove it.


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