Roles of Women in the Iron Age

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The Social Role of Women in the Iron Age
Jarod Bleibdrey, M.S.C.J
Hist510: Graduate Seminar in World History
Dr. Steve Kreis, Ph.D
December 1, 2012

The Social Role of Women in the Iron Age
Introduction
Throughout time, the social role of women has been varied, especially throughout the Paleolithic, Neolithic, Bronze and Iron ages. Taking a snap shot of this diversity during the same time period will demonstrate the vast differences of women’s social roles. While some societies considered women as being equal to man, becoming warriors and heroes, other societies treated women as second class citizens or worse. This paper aims at explaining the roles of the Celtic and Middle Eastern women within their communities during the early Iron Age. Through comparison, this view point will examine that snap shot of different societies during, roughly, the same time period. The Role of Celtic Women

In ancient Celtic societies, women had many rights and freedoms that were not offered to women in other societies during the Iron Age (the archaeological period after the Bronze Age and characterized by the widespread use of iron). Celtic women enjoyed the ability to achieve a higher status and serve as chieftains, druids, poets, healers, warriors, diplomats, and judges. Women were not forced to take these roles, as many took on the more traditional role as wives and mothers. This ability to determine ones fate is a freedom that would not be extended to women on a widespread notion until the late twentieth century of Western civilizations. Due to the use of marriage as a binding tool for different clans, women were allowed unparalleled rights of divorce and property unlike women of the same time period. The Celtic women had an equal say in the creation of their marriage contract and the distribution of land to the heirs of the family. Unlike any other civilization of the early Iron Age, or beyond, the Celtic women were not only allowed to become warriors,...
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