With this incredible discovery, archaeologists have gone from surprise to surprise. A short time ago, a team of scientists from the University of Alberta, in Canada, analysed the teeth of a woman who lived 4000 years ago, in Ancient Egypt. From this study, they learnt a lot more than they expected.
As they write in a report published in the journal Elsevier, they have made two surprising discoveries. Firstly, lesions “coherent with a regular oral hygiene.” But also other marks, usually produced by using one’s teeth to cut reeds.
Betrayed by her teeth
It’s this element that has provoked the archaeologist’s surprise. According to them, it’s evidence that this woman had a unique profession: she was a craftswoman.
At this time, reed was in fact largely used to make boxes and baskets, but also shoes, rope, papyrus, or even floor mats for various funeral ceremonies.
And, in Ancient Egypt, the work of an artisan was more likely reserved for men. “Based on texts and funeral paintings, experts state that only seven professions were open to women in Ancient Egypt,” claim the scientists.
Generally, women at this time were more likely priestesses, singers, dancers or midwives. Manual activities like crafts were therefore more reserved for men.
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