Paleolithic Women: High Fiving Through Time!



"Paleolithic humans spread all across Africa and south-west Asia at the time and women could have played a significant part in determining this spread. Owen shows that the past was inhabited by diverse kinds of people, who responded to specific settings and problems in manifold ways. In these contexts women were at times hunters, fishers, craftspeople, collectors, killers, educators, sisters, mothers, grandmothers and shamans. In this more balanced view of hunting and gathering societies, men and children are also central actors, and we begin to see Paleolithic life in which the myths that generations of scholars have helped to create are no longer the only illuminated points."


Show notes

  • Introducing the show and the concept for the podcast. 
  • Recap of the creation of the universe and planet
  • Discussion of gender assumptions and bias made by anthropologists about paleolithic societies
  • John Manning and Dean Snow on paleolithic cave paintings and who the first landscape painters actually were



Owens, L.R., (2005), Distorting the Past: Gender and the Division of Labour in the Upper Paleolithic. Kerns Verlag, Germany.

Jellicoe, G. & S, (1995), The Landscape of Man. Thames & Hudson, London, UK.

Snow, D. (2013). Sexual Dimorphism in European Upper Paleolithic Cave Art. American Antiquity, 78(4).

BBC Science

Elizabeth Barlow Rogers

National Geographic