A recent study looked at the bones of women from the neolithic, iron age and bronze age periods from various cemeteries throughout central Europe and compared the remains to the bones of modern athletes. The study of the bones showed that prehistoric women were very strong. When compared to elite Cambridge rowers, the prehistoric bones showed evidence of more labour intensive work than previously thought, and showing that they were stronger than the rowers. The prehistoric leg bones, however, showed that whilst some were similar in strength to those of modern ultra marathon runners, other prehistoric women were weaker than the most inactive participants of the study
It was previously thought that the men carried out the hard working tasks that would require strength, and the study shows that this isn’t entirely what happened. While it is unclear which activities the prehistoric women carried out to allow them to be stronger than previously thought, the researchers are taking into consideration which tools weren’t invented yet. This means that the main activities carried out were agricultural activities. This shows a history of consistent manual labour among the women when it came to the thousands of years of farming and other load-bearing activities.
The evidence concluded from the study will massively help anthropologists as they study how prehistoric societies changed and adapted as technological development and agricultural practices develop over time.