Female Hunters May Have Doomed Neanderthals

Study says feminist practices put the 'reproductive core' in harm's way
By Ryan Riley,  Newser User
Posted Nov 11, 2007 11:11 AM CST
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(Newser) – "Stone Age feminism" may have contributed to the Neanderthals' extinction, says a recent study, which uses archaeological evidence to argue that Neanderthal females hunted—and were "stomped, gored, and worse"—alongside males. Pitting the "reproductive core" of a population that never topped 10,000 against giant beasts, reports the Boston Globe, "could bring doom to a hard-pressed species."

While female Homo sapiens gathered food, the Neanderthals' focus on the hunt left no one to harvest grains to supplement their diet when game was in short supply. "There's not much evidence of classic female roles," adds a study author. Other scientists maintain that climate change and genocide at the hands of Homo sapiens account for the extinction, which occurred some 30,000 years ago.