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date: 28 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article reviews studies on the archaeology of gender in Mesoamerica. Critical advances in the archaeology of gender in Mesoamerica include explorations of how status and age differences intersected with gender to affect the lives of men and women; increased understandings of how women in different societies and of different ranks were able to exercise power; and understandings of different experiences of sexuality. Sex cannot be treated as providing a natural basis on which cultural gender develops as a secondary phenomenon, because all cultural life, including the identification of biological sex, is experienced through patterns of thought, experience, and speech. Gender is thus better understood as a persistent way of acting as an embodied person, aware of socially sanctioned precedents for how to be a person with affective, sexual, and potentially reproductive relations.

Keywords: Mesoamerica, gender, archaeology, sex

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