Goddesses Of The Hunt, The Moon, Child Birth And The Underworld

Ancient Origins IRAQ Tour

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Diana Huntress and her Nymphs (1637) by Peter Paul Rubens (Public Domain)

Goddesses Of The Hunt, The Moon, Child Birth And The Underworld

"Man the Hunter," an early 20th-century human origins story, saw hunting as the primary driver of human evolution, emphasizing mankind’s forefathers' bipedalism, large brains, sharp tools, and insatiable desire for violence. According to this narrative, hunting also gave rise to the concept of the nuclear family, with women serving as those who waited at home for men to bring home the meat. However, through decades of field research, anthropologists have developed a more flexible and comprehensive view of human labor, which holds that neither men nor women are particularly biologically inclined to gather.

Restoration of a Neanderthal woman cleaning a reindeer skin. ( Wikimedia Commons )

Restoration of a Neanderthal woman cleaning a reindeer skin. ( Wikimedia Commons )

In 2018, archaeologists gathered around an excavated burial from 9,000 years ago in Peru's Andes Mountains. Along with a human adult's bones, they found an extensive kit of stone tools that an ancient hunter would require to take down big game, from engaging the hunt to preparing the hide, including a colorful array of 24 stone tools.  Large rocks for cracking bones or stripping hides; small, rounded stony bits for scraping fat from pelts; tiny flakes with extra sharp edges that could have chopped the meat; and red ocher nodules that could have helped preserve the hides of animal bones, including those of ancient llamas and deer, were also discovered.


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