The Invisible Sex: Uncovering the True Roles of Women in Prehistory

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9781598743906: The Invisible Sex: Uncovering the True Roles of Women in Prehistory

Shaped by cartoons and museum dioramas, our vision of Paleolithic times tends to feature fur-clad male hunters fearlessly attacking mammoths while timid women hover fearfully behind a boulder. Recent archaeological research has shown that this vision bears little relation to reality. J. M. Adovasio and Olga Soffer, two of the world's leading experts on perishable artifacts such as basketry, cordage, and weaving, present an exciting new look at prehistory. With science writer Jake Page, they argue that women invented all kinds of critical materials, including the clothing necessary for life in colder climates, the ropes used to make rafts that enabled long-distance travel by water, and nets used for communal hunting. Even more important, women played a central role in the development of language and social life―in short, in our becoming human. In this eye-opening book, a new story about women in prehistory emerges with provocative implications for our assumptions about gender today.

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From the Inside Flap:

In The Invisible Sex, the authors present an exciting new look at prehistory, arguing that women invented all kinds of critical materials, including the clothing necessary for life in colder climates, the ropes used to make rafts that enabled long-distance travel by water, and nets used for communal hunting. In this eye-opening book, a new story about women in prehistory emerges with provocative implications for our assumptions about gender today.

About the Author:

J. M. Adovasio, Ph.D., is the founder and director of the Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute in Erie, Pennsylvania. He is the author of The First Americans (with Jake Page) and excavator of Meadowcroft Rockshelter, an archaeological site in Pennsylvania that revolutionized ideas of human settlement in the Americas.

Olga Soffer, formerly a fashion industry insider, is a professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is a world-renowned specialist on the prehistory of Russia and Eastern Europe and on the origins of art.

Jake Page was the founding editor of Doubleday's Natural History Press, as well as editorial director of Natural History magazine and science editor of Smithsonian magazine. He has written more than forty books on the natural sciences, zoological topics, and Native American affairs, as well as mystery fiction.

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