Gender relations and social organisation in the predynastic and early dynastic periods

Zakrzewski, Sonia R. (2007) Gender relations and social organisation in the predynastic and early dynastic periods. In, Goyon, J.-CL. and Cardin, C. (eds.) Proceedings of the 9th International Congress of Egyptologists. 9th International Congress of Egyptologists Leuven, BE, Peeters, 2005-2019. (Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta, 150).


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This paper presents a novel approach to assessing social organisation through the analysis of human skeletal remains by means of examining the biological diversity found within a series of Middle and Upper Egyptian skeletal populations. The main aim of the current paper is thus to assess the efficacy of population variability as a marker for social variation and social organisation. The first half of the paper examines the craniometric diversity seen within these temporally successive skeletal samples in order to understand better the population variability and craniometric sexual dimorphism. The second portion of the paper assesses the postcranial variability and sexual dimorphism. Computed adult stature is shown to increase significantly through the Predynastic to reach a maximum in the Early Dynastic period. The pattern of stature change is different for males and females, thus revealing varying degrees of postcranial sexual dimorphism through time.
The final portion of the paper links these aspects together in order to employ them to assess the changes in social organisation. Females are therefore shown to be in greater equilibrium with their local environment, with greater variability being seen within the male sample. Potential reasons for this include major population increase, increased gene flow through exogamy or increase gene flow through potentially sex-specific migration. Within the current sample, the males are shown to be more variable, and hence are likely to be that portion of the population that is in-migrating

Item Type: Book Section
ISBNs: 9789042917170
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Divisions : Faculty of Humanities > Archaeology
ePrint ID: 204245
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2011 11:45
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:47

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