Rosemary A. Joyce
Caroline Dodds Pennock
Aztec culture has often been regarded as patriarchal but, although men controlled many traditional markers of influence in Tenochtitlan, women were powerful and effective figures, possessing tangible rights and responsibilities that were recognized as essential to society’s collective success. Two alternative models now dominate analyses of Aztec gender: parallelism or complementarity duality and fluidity. Although arguably women’s influence was gradually reduced by an increasing focus on military issues, scholars are now largely agreed that male and female roles were arranged into a binary system, each with its own sphere of responsibility and activity. Gender was socially conditioned from birth in Aztec culture and throughout the life cycle, while masculine/feminine pairings strongly shaped social, political, and religious structures. In a practical sense Aztec gender systems probably combined parallelism with a degree of hierarchy within which men and women were structurally equivalent rather than equal.
Robert Jarvenpa and Hetty Jo Brumbach
Genetic and archaeological evidence indicates that South Asia was one of the world's most densely populated geographic regions in the Late Pleistocene. Genetic coalescence ages point to the colonization of the region by Homo sapiens between 70,000 and 50,000 years ago, corresponding with the Middle Palaeolithic stone tool industry. Middle Palaeolithic occupations occur prior to the Toba volcanic super-eruption of 74,000 years ago, suggesting Homo sapiens may have reached South Asia earlier. Populations emerging from Africa may have used coasts and transcontinental routes to disperse across the Indian Ocean rim. Indigenous South Asian hunter-gatherers survived the Toba super-eruption, and adapted to environmental changes across the Late Pleistocene. About 35,000-30,000 years ago, new cultural innovations appear that correspond with environmental deterioration, habitat fragmentation, and demographic increase. Lifestyles of foraging populations became increasingly heterogeneous during the Holocene. During the Middle and Late Holocene, foraging populations coexisted alongside complex urbanized state-level societies
Man the Hunter, Woman the Gatherer? The Impact of Gender Studies on Hunter-Gatherer Research (A Retrospective)
The ‘Man the Hunter’ conference marked the beginning of hunter-gatherer studies as an area of inquiry across subfields of anthropology. The published volume appeared in the late 1960s during the second wave of feminism and inspired an immediate backlash against the sexist language and omission of women’s roles in hunting and gathering groups. A survey of publications beginning with Man the Hunter and the immediate responses through the publications from the Conferences on Hunting and Gathering Societies (CHAGS) and selected book-length works traces the increasing, if uneven, influence of gender studies in hunter-gatherer research.
During the centuries between the date of the mythical founding of Rome and the first decades of the sixth century AD when Justinian’s Corpus Iuris Civilis was enacted, the legal condition of women underwent substantial transformation. To understand this process it is necessary to recall that during the first centuries of its history Rome was a patriarchal society, where only patres familias enjoyed full civil and political rights. Other members of the family enjoyed only certain rights, and some did not enjoy any at all. Over the centuries paternal authority underwent important changes, which in different ways limited it. Rome had grown from a small village of peasants and shepherds to a metropolis that ruled the world. Political, social, economic conditions (not to say mentalities and religious beliefs and practices) changed the way of thinking of the Romans, their way of life and their attitude and behaviour towards women.