Even today, giving birth can be one of the most dangerous moments in a woman's life. In ancient times it would have been even more so. Matriarchal societies would have tried to ensure the safest environment possible for expectant women. By placing individual marker stones or stakes within a permanent calendar circle of immovable stones aligned to yearly points, a due date could be predicted and prepared for. But how could this knowledge have been forgotten?
Women are noticeable through their absence when it comes to their role in the archaeological importance of prehistoric structures. In some ways, this is not surprising as up until recently archaeology itself had mostly been the domain of men. Not all men, of course. Exceptional women such as Gertrude Bell, Harriet Boyd Hawes, Kathleen Kenyon and Tatiana Proskouriakoff were just some of the pioneering women who influenced archaeology in the past. But, as a ratio, this was still a tiny minority in comparison to men.
Gertrude Bell in Iraq in 1909 (Public Domain)
Another factor that is generally overlooked is that most of these men were quite religious and also had views about women which, to put it mildly, were completely sexist. This has sometimes had the result of skewing the historical record when it comes to interpreting data and when understanding the role of the feminine and the menstruation cycle in ancient systems of thought and spirituality, for example.
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