Researchers Examine Neolithic Grave Goods in the Netherlands

Netherlands Grave GoodsLEIDEN, THE NETHERLANDS—According to a statement released by the University of Leiden, a new analysis of skeletal remains and grave goods recovered from 7,000-year-old burials at the Elsloo grave field, a Neolithic cemetery in the southern Netherlands excavated in the 1960s, suggests that male-female gender roles were less defined than previously thought. Luc Amkreutz of the National Museum of Antiquities and Leiden University said that arrowheads and stone axes, although traditionally attributed to men, were frequently found in women’s graves. Amkreutz and his colleagues also noted that the graves of the elderly, especially those of elderly women, were richly furnished with heavily used goods including items related to hunting, food preparation, woodworking, and body decoration. Many of the dead in these burials had also been sprinkled with red ochre, he added. To read about upended gender norms in the Viking Age, go to “Viking Roles.”


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