sábado, 14 de enero de 2012

RITUALISTS OR THE HIGH STATUS WOMEN?. Evidence for an alternative role given to women living in a proto celtic society in North East Italy, Austria

RITUALISTS OR THE HIGH STATUS WOMEN?:Evidence for an alternative role given to women living in a proto celtic society in North East Italy, Austria and Slovenia between the VII and the V century BC.

Anita Pinagli (Arqueóloga Profesional)


The archaeological research on the proto celtic societies and burials has increasingly provide the evidence of female aristocratic graves in the Central and Eastern Europe especially in a period of time ranging from the VII to almost the beginning of the V century BC.
In pre-post processualist times the evidence connected to this kind of grave was commonly placed in relationship with the apparent function that the artefacts, part of the woman’s outfit, could have had. The functionalist explanation given to these objects and human remains used to tide the woman to a predetermined gender role. In the scientific literature women were commonly referred to as 'the Princess', as ‘the aristocrat daughter' or as ‘wife’ or again as ‘wealthy woman’ just because of their rich and exotic grave goods.
Nonetheless, ancient classical texts like the writings left by Cesar do not allow us either to differ from this view or to agree with it. They described a male predominant society contemporary to their period. Accounts of ritual customs and references to women’s daily life were therefore possibly obscured by another social pattern come in use after the V century.
The innovative study of Christopher Knüssel (2002), over the reviewed function of the princess of Vix (France) as a ritualist, is the base from which to undertake a comparative study of different burials found in the north-east of Italy, Austria, Slovenia. These graves are outstanding for their exotic objects and local imitations. Most of the time they concern utility grave goods decorated with a highly elaborated iconographic symbolism. This repertoire of symbols and customs derives from the cultural and commercial interaction with neighbour cultures like the Etruscan and the Venetian and the ones from the eastern europeans regions.
This paper attempts to describe the role that women could have had in proto-celtic societies as wives or ritualists. The account of the burial mounds evidence in the East Halstatt Necropolis of Frög-Austria. will be followed by the data regarding the female remains recovered in the Italian Necropolis of Misincinis -Paularo and by other study cases from Slovenia. The grave goods elements will be compared and explained in order to assess the function that women had in their different communities.

I Jornadas de Jóvenes Investigadores del valle del Duero (Zamora).

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