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Skillful, Professional...Cavewoman

            The common belief that women of the Paleolithic period were nothing more than baby-makers and cooks has been rejected by some prominent archaeologists. Interestingly enough, some even believe that women were absolutely capable of being just as much a warrior and hunter as their male counter parts. Many of these thoughts and ideas will be discussed as archaeologists revisit recent anthropological research and undertake a more thorough examination of historical evidence overlooked concerning women during the Upper Paleolithic. .
             The New Women of the Ice Age demonstrates a view of female hunter/gatherers that was, up to that time, not part of the popular archaeological ideas of Paleolithic women and their lifestyles. This new revelation, due in part to the painstaking work and investigations by three leading archaeologists, had similar views of what they believed the Ice Age woman's day to day activities really consisted. Olga Soffer, James Adovasio, and David Hyland envisioned that "[human survival had little to do with manly men hurling spears at big-game animals, [but] instead, depended largely on women, plants, and a technique of hunting previously invisible in the archaeological evidence-net hunting" [Hea98]. Excavations at two sites, Dolni Vestonice and Pavlov in Czechoslovakia, revealed evidences of weaving materials related to textiles and basketry. These new findings have shown a different light on the everyday lifestyles of women during the Upper Paleolithic. The idea that women could not have been big game hunters because of obvious physiological and biological hindrances did not dissuade these archaeologists from believing that not only could these women have been hunters but could have been women of many different job tasks. The confirmation of the intricately woven nets that were found at these sites gave ample evidence that not only did these women hunt but were very advanced in textile production.

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