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                                          Book of the Week

Invisible Women of Prehistory: Three million years of peace, six thousand years of war

by Judy Foster with Marlene Derlet


Invisible Women of Prehistory is a revolutionary book that challenges our preconceptions about the past. 

We often think of history as a linear development in which we are steadily moving out of a violent and patriarchal past to a more equitable and peaceful future. While we have no shortage of wars – and the incidence of violence against women is alarmingly high – we are told that humans have never lived in such peaceful times. We continually hear that our predecessors were violent but also that patriarchy is inevitable and universal. But what if none of this were true? What if we were descended from peaceful societies in which women were respected and equal to men? Would this inspire us to seek new ways of organizing our lives and of interpreting the present?

Based on many years of research into ancient history and prehistory, Judy Foster and linguist Marlene Derlet take on the world. They argue that three million years of peace, a period when women’s status in society was much higher than it is now, preceded the last six thousand years of war during which men have come to hold power over women.

They challenge the academic resistance to these ideas and re-examine both the archaeological work of Marjia Gimbutas and recent research into the prehistories of Africa, East and South Asia, the Americas, Australia, South-East Asia and Oceania.


'Without a doubt, this book acts as a corrective to male-centric academic research'
New Internationalist

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