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Keywords:

  • gender;
  • feminist theory;
  • household archaeology;
  • labor organization

ABSTRACT

A generation of archaeologists has shown that gender stereotyping has impeded our ability to understand the political economy, social organization, and cultural changes that are reflected in archaeological data. But feminist archaeology has also shown that to understand the past we could not simply “add women and stir”; that researching gender would require interrogating a great deal of received wisdom and might ultimately challenge some of our most cherished anthropological and ethnographic categories. By studying gender in the past we were not trying to place women within the standard anthropological framework of understanding, we were trying to shake the framework. The important contributions to this volume come from some of the first young scholars to be born into that shaken framework; each providing new perspectives, new interpretations, and new insights into the lives of ancient people that expand not only what we perceive about the past, but also what we can understand about ourselves.