Stonehenge remains reflect 'surprising degree' of gender equality

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Surprising Gender Equality Found At Stonehenge


Ancient societies may seem dominated by men, but a new study has found that this was likely not the case in one famous area.

New research involving a cache of bones excavated from Stonehenge has found that of the 23 individuals who were identified, 14 were women.

The editor of British Archaeology, Mike Pitts, told Discovery News, "The archaeology now shows that as far as the burials go, women were as prominent there as men."

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Stonehenge remains reflect 'surprising degree' of gender equality
WILTSHIRE, ENGLAND - JUNE 21: Revellers watch sunrise over Stonehenge during celebrations to mark the summer solstice at the prehistoric monument on June 21, 2014 in Wiltshire, England. An estimated 37,000 revellers and modern day druids gathered at Stonehenge, a tradition dating back thousands of years, to celebrate the solstice and watch the sunrise. (Photo by Rufus Cox/Getty Images)
Visitors take photographs of the world heritage site of Stonehenge, England, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. It has been standing for thousands of years, so Britain's ancient Stonehenge monument was due a makeover. The 27 million pound ($44 million) renovation which was previewed Tuesday includes a new building 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) from the stones where the 1 million a year visitors can watch an exhibition about Neolithic life. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
U.S. Olympian sprinter Michael Johnson poses for the photographers holding the Olympic Flame at Stonehenge, England, Thursday, July 12, 2012. Johnson, who won four Olympic gold medals and eight world championship gold medals, currently holds the world and Olympic records in the 400 meters and 4 x 400 meters relay. The Olympic Torch is being carried around England in a relay of torchbearers to make its way to the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
U.S. Olympian sprinter Michael Johnson poses for the photographers holding the Olympic Flame at Stonehenge, England, Thursday, July 12, 2012. Johnson, who He won four Olympic gold medals and eight world championship gold medals, currently holds the world and Olympic records in the 400 meters and 4 x 400 meters relay. The Olympic Torch is being carried around England in a relay of torchbearers to make its way to the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
Hector Navarro helps to prepare Stonehenge II to be moved, Monday, Aug. 2, 2010, in Hunt. The Stonehenge replica is being moved to Ingram, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Wilson Farris climbs a structure at Stonehenge II, Thursday, July 22, 2010, in Hunt, Texas. The Stonehenge replica, built by Doug Hill and Al Shepperd in 1989, will soon be moved to a new home. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Doug Hill poses for a photo with Stonehenge II, Thursday, July 22, 2010, in Hunt, Texas. The Stonehenge replica, built by Hill and Al Shepperd in 1989, will soon be moved to a new home. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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Aerial view of Stonehenge National Monument, Salisbury Plain, Great Britain.
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Overall, the team concluded that there was a "surprising degree of gender equality."

These women are thought to have had stature in the community which corroborates the theory that Stonehenge acted, in part, as a cemetery for important figures.

The work was done by sifting through nearly 100 pounds of bone fragments; workers had to identify the anatomical position of each piece, then determine the gender and age of the prehistoric people represented.

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