29. September 2016 – 30. September 2016

Multiple Femininities – Multiple Masculinities

The diversity of gendered identities in the bronze and iron ages

Lecture by Katharina Rebay-Salisbury, Peter C. Ramsl


The archaeology of personal identities has firmly established age, gender and status as relevant categories of investigation. Beyond the recognition that not all women and men led identical lives, however, there has been little effort to unravel the diversity of gendered lives. Women’s lives may have differed significantly according to their reproductive status – whether they were infertile, had few or many surviving children. Craft specialists of both genders may have led lives that took them away from their communities and brought them into contact with different ways of living. Similarly, medical or ritual specialists of both genders may be integral to many societies. Further, the mechanisms by which men turned into warriors are still little understood – was being a warrior part of every man’s lifecycle, was this particular identity restricted to a certain age group or class, or were other selection mechanisms at play? Some aspects of personal identity may not be gendered at all. Was gender relevant for making pots or taking care of children?

This workshop aims to review how different social roles have been conceptualized and attributed to prehistoric people, and how these roles intersected with each other as well as with age, gender and status. We would like to reconstruct the variability of gendered lifecycles and brainstorm for common as well as unusual social roles in prehistory. In addition, we would like to discuss methods of investigating the burial and settlement record that will aid in understanding the diversity of gendered identities in the Bronze and Iron Ages.

Peter C. Ramsl
Institute of Archaeology
Slovak Academy of Sciences
Nitra, Slovakia
Peter.Ramsl(at)univie.ac.at 

Katharina Rebay-Salisbury
Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology
Austrian Academy of Sciences
Vienna, Austria
Katharina.Rebay-Salisbury(at)oeaw.ac.at 

Attendance at the workshop is free and registration is not required. In order to plan refreshments, please e-mail us informally if you intend to come. Klement is best reached by car and local accommodation is available in the vicinity.

 Programme