For centuries, people have believed that among our earlier ancestors, men were hunters while women were gatherers. But a growing number of archeological findings are proving this to be wrong. Among other things, women in numerous societies have been found buried with big-game hunting tools.
After analyzing data from dozens of foraging societies around the world, scholars at Seattle Pacific University, US, have found that women hunt in at least 79% of these societies. And why wouldn’t they?
The first human societies were small. In these so-called band societies, there lived 20-40 individuals. To survive, our ancestors had to make use of each other’s skills and differences: regardless of gender or age. The idea that these societies had a rule where men hunted and women gathered says more about our view of gender than our ancestors.
Similarly, the notion that people need a single individual to rule them is flawed. In these small band societies, there were no rulers, no single leader who managed the society. Instead, people followed different individuals depending on the needs or hurdles they faced. In other words, everyone played the role of both leader and follower.