Warrior Women: An Archaeologist’s Search for History’s Hidden Heroines by Jeannine Davis-Kimball.★ ★ ★ ★
I enjoyed Warrior Women, but it was also frustrating in some ways – she only talks about areas that she’s had personal experience with, such as the Chinese mummies, which didn’t really fit with the “Hidden Heroine” topic. The title also lead me to believe that the book was mainly about, well, warrior women. In reality, they only made up one chapter, maybe two if you count the chapter on the Amazons, whom have no evidence of actually existing but were probably made up based on stories of foreign women to keep Greek women in line.
The book also only covers Eurasia. In the second to last page, she mentions that an ancient North African kingdom trained women as bodyguards. Why not more information?
I think part of the brevity is the lack of information on general. Really, all we know about the ancient warrior women in the steppes was that they existed. Their nomadic tribes didn’t have any written language, so all the evidence comes from burial goods. Plus, the presence of women buried with weapons was ignored for many years by the archaeological establishment.
Still, the book did contain some fascinating tidbits and was easy to read. I would recommend it as an introduction to the topic. It gave me other avenues to explore in my reading.
Originally reviewed March 30th, 2014