Gender Roles Comparing to Food Production in Neolithic Towns

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September 29, 2012
Global 9H Comparative Essay

Between 8000 and 1500 BCE, unique social, religious, and economic characteristics were common, both in hunter-gatherer societies and residents of a Neolithic town like Catal Huyuk. These characteristics were similar in that they affected the social standing among both men and women. Gender roles in agriculture and food provision in general correlate with the social standing of both men and women. However, the Neolithic towns like Catal Huyuk’s characteristics were far more advanced than the hunter-gatherer’s characteristics were.

Social characteristics were very significant in the framework of both hunter- gatherer societies and Neolithic towns such as Catal Huyuk alike. In both societies, the women had the role of taking care of the children. However, while in the hunter-gatherer society men and women had equal roles (men doing the hunting and women doing the gathering), the Neolithic town’s gender roles contrasted greatly. In Neolithic towns such as Catal Huyuk, men did most of the food provision and agricultural-related activities, while women remained cooped up in the house or settlement and raised the children. This caused women to lose their social standing and freedom in Neolithic towns, while the fair balance of roles between men and women in hunter-gatherer societies allowed social standing to stay equivalent.

Religion in both hunter-gatherer societies and Neolithic towns allowed people to worship a being greater than themselves. In both societies, well developed religion existed. Also, both Neolithic towns and hunter-gatherer societies believed in the afterlife. In contrast, Neolithic towns had much more developed religion, having a shrine for every two houses in each town, while hunter-gatherer societies did not. Also, hunter-gatherer societies did not have a specific gender that controlled religion, while in Neolithic towns, women controlled...
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