“Truth behind the myths”: Greek mythology’s Amazon warrior ladies may have been real.

“Truth behind the myths”: Greek mythology’s Amazon warrior ladies may have been real.

Excavations of bronze age graves have found battle-scarred female archers, says the historian Bettany Hughes

Greek mythology describes the Amazons as fearsome, strong female warriors who dwelt on the fringe of the known world. One of Hercules’ twelve labors was to retrieve the mystical girdle belonging to the Amazonian queen Hippolyte, while Achilles slew Penthesilea, another queen, only to fall in love with her when her stunning face showed through her helmet.

These bow-wielding, horseback-riding nomads were long lost to folklore, but archaeologists are finding more and more proof that they were genuine. These people hunted and battled much like humans.

The discovery during the excavation of a bronze era necropolis in Nakhchivan, Azerbaijan, was that women had been buried with jewelry and weapons including mace, metal daggers, and razor-sharp arrowheads.

It has been determined by archaeologists that these ladies may have been Amazonian women living 4,000 years ago. These formidable women were well-known for both their male-free culture and their skill in combat, especially when using a bow and arrow.

“It demonstrates that there is truth behind the myths and legends of ancient Greece,” historian Bettany Hughes said to the Observer.

She said that the evidence’s significance increased when it was connected to previous discoveries. In 2019, Russian archaeologists discovered the bones of four female fighters who had been buried with spears and arrowheads. In 2017, Armenian researchers discovered the remains of a lady who seemed to have died from wounds sustained in combat since an arrowhead was buried in her leg. The body of a lady who had been buried with a knife was discovered close to the Kazakhstani border in the early 1990s.

“A civilization isn’t made up of a single grave,” said Hughes. All the ancients said that a civilization existed that crossed both the Caucasus and the Steppe, therefore it goes without saying that further ruins are required.

According to Hughes, several of the bones show that the women had used bows and arrows a lot. “Their fingers are warped because they’re using arrows so much,” Hughes said. It wouldn’t simply happen that hunting would cause changes to the finger joints. That takes a lot of consistent practice. The fact that a large amount of the bone evidence also clearly demonstrates signs of prolonged time spent on the saddle is quite interesting. Because they are riding horses, women’s pelvises are essentially exposed. Their lifestyle just shapes [their] bones.

She said that necklaces made of carnelian are among the jewellery: “Carnelian is a semi-precious stone. When someone is a high priestesses or goddess, you see it often. Therefore, it is a prestige symbol for ladies, same as mace heads.

In April, a brand-new Channel 4 series named Bettany Hughes’ Treasures of the World will unveil the discoveries. “Silk Roads and the Caucasus,” one of the episodes, is about a region of the globe where trade routes connected the continents of Asia and Europe for ages, and where cultures and civilizations came and went.

“Slowly you’re getting these brilliant bits of evidence that are coming out of the earth,” she remarks in the documentary about the discoveries made in the Amazon. With the very greatest tales, it is often the case.

She travels to the highest inhabited location in Europe, the alpine town of Khinalig in the Greater Caucasus. She remarks that because of its extreme isolation, the place “feels as though it’s lost in time” and that no one else speaks the local tongue.

There’s been a town there since the Bronze Age, and some of its two thousand inhabitants tell her that their women used to dress as males in order to blend in with the legends that have been passed down through the years.

“All of our grandmothers fought,” they replied, bringing up old tales of Amazons. With the herds, all of the males were gone. According to the ancient accounts, ladies would always hide their faces while fighting, making it impossible for onlookers to tell whether they were men or women.

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