Women In The Neolithic Period In Britain

 In Neolithic

In my forthcoming book, Zuri is my protagonist. As a young girl, she moves from the village we now call Martin, situated above Fordingbridge, to live down on the River Avon. The farming families were always short of women, not least because a number would have died in childbirth. Older members of the farming family visited her hunter gatherer family to negotiate the move, when she was a child. A ‘dowry’ of grain and beef was paid annually for a number of years. Women in the Neolithic period in Britain had a trading value, which did not extend to the male children.

Established Practice

I didn’t pluck this idea from thin air. The practice was identified in Germany for that period. It probably reflected the power of the prospering farmers as the hunter gatherers declined. Trading a female child for grain had three benefits. Firstly, it enabled the child’s family to survive over winter, when game was even more difficult to find. Secondly, it reduced mouths to feed and thirdly, the child was moving into a more wealthy and healthy culture. This practice probably began because the hunter gatherers lived in marginal areas, the wilder upland country. With a gradual decline in game everything suggests their numbers were falling.

A Model for Zuri

One of the finest museums to cover the Neolithic period is the Museum of London. On a recent visit, I made note of ‘The Shepperton Woman’, who dated to 3640-3100 BC. Okay, that’s a good thousand years before Zuri, but close enough for comparison. Her skeleton suggested she was 30-40 years of age, with worn teeth but no signs of disease. The shape of her lower leg indicated long hours squatting on tasks. This could also have been because she suffered nutritional deficiency in childhood. A clincher for me was that she had high lead levels in her teeth. This suggests she had spent her childhood in the Mendips, Derbyshire or the Pennines. These are marginal areas and poor for farming.

A Face for Zuri

The museum displayed a head sculpted from the skull of ‘The Shepperton Woman’. It is rare to find such a skull because most bodies in that period were subjected to excarnation. It is the nearest I shall get to a face for our pagan ancestor Zuri. Women in the Neolithic period in Britain were remarkable. Say hello to your relative!

Recent Posts
Showing 6 comments
  • Avatar
    Jim
    Reply

    I am sure this article has touched all the internet people,
    its really really fastidious paragraph on building up
    new web site. Hi, i read your blog occasionally
    and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you
    get a lot of spam comments? If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can advise?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any help
    is very much appreciated. You have made some decent points there.

    I checked on the internet to learn more about the issue
    and found most people will go along with your views on this web
    site. http://Goodreads.com/

    • Ken West
      Ken West
      Reply

      Hi Jim, I have about 5 spams per day so its not a real problem. I have not tried any plugins to date but will keep them in mind.

      Best wishes
      Ken

  • Avatar
    RevPump Pills
    Reply

    I like this internet site because so much useful stuff on here :D.

    • Ken West
      Ken West
      Reply

      Many thanks for your comments

  • Avatar
    France
    Reply

    I absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post’s to
    be just what I’m looking for. Do you offer guest writers
    to write content for you? I wouldn’t mind composing a post or elaborating on a number
    of the subjects you write related to here. Again, awesome web site!

    • Ken West
      Ken West
      Reply

      Hi France,
      Many thanks. Yes, I do accept guest writers but none have applied to date. What have you got in mind?

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt
the rise of superbugswhy would you choose direct cremation?