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Weapon or Weaving Swords and the Complexities of Gender Construction

Author(s): Laura Mazow

Year: 2016

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The existence of weaving swords in the Bronze and Iron Age Levant is hinted at in both the textual and archaeological records. Furthermore, weaving swords as grave goods would fit the generally accepted pattern of weaving tools in association with female burials. Yet when swords have been found in graves with positively identified females, the deceased have been described as ‘warrior women’ or the burial reinterpreted so as to disassociate biological sex and gender. In recognizing the use of weaving swords in the Bronze and Iron Ages, we may find additional previously identified weapon swords whose form better fits a weaving function. In this paper I argue that our lack of understanding of weaving technologies combines with our hasty and often uncritical assignment of gender categories to see a martial quality in all depictions of ‘swords’.

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Weapon or Weaving Swords and the Complexities of Gender Construction. Laura Mazow. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 405380)


Gender Weaving

Geographic Keywords
West Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America