Ordinary women living in Central Europe around 5,000 BC had even stronger arms than some exceptional women athletes today.

From hard, physical work, women in early farming societies grew strong. The proof is in their bones. A research team led by Alison Macintosh of the University of Cambridge compared ancient female skeletons with bones of modern women athletes, including members of a rowing team. One finding: ordinary women living around 5,000 BC had even stronger arms than the modern athletes.


Previous studies compared bones of ancient women with men from the same era. That led to an underestimate for the women's muscle strength. Life in early agrarian societies included lots of upper body exercise.

Also read : Kalash- Descendants of Alexander the Great Living in an Unstable...

Grinding grain into flour took enormous effort, with an effect on the arms similar to rowing. Such clues from ancient women's bones can teach us about their labor, and their lives.


We'd love to know your comments on this