Engendering the Bioarchaeology of the Viking Age

Author(s): Chelsi Slotten

Year: 2017


The emergence of sexual orientation stigma or "queerphobia" within Christianity has a deep history that can be traced through historical and archaeological sources. Previous researchers in Mesopotamia argued that "queerphobia" did not exist in ancient times, yet biases against non-normative sexual orientations are continuously debated among contemporary theologians. This paper explores how sexual orientation stigma came to exist in modernity, arguing that the emergence of this phobia parallels the emergence of Yahweh-based monotheism in the ancient Near East, both of which are rooted in misogyny. Pithoi from the Near East reveal a Yahweh and Asherah-based religion that disappears from the archaeological and textual records as Yahweh centered monotheism emerges. This shift in worship represented a shift from an egalitarian to a patriarchal religious focus. The rise of a patriarchal religion contributes to the subordination of women within these religious communities. This misogyny extends further to reinforce stigma against gay and lesbian people, a stigma that exists in modernity, as same-sex sexualities disrupt the active man passive woman binary, a foundation of Yahweh-based religions.

Cite this Record

Engendering the Bioarchaeology of the Viking Age. Chelsi Slotten. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431400)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16612