10 Mar 2015

Warrior Women: Were the Amazons more than a myth?

From Nine To Noon, 10:09 am on 10 March 2015

Battle injuries on the ribs and skull of two Scythian women
Battle injuries on the ribs and skull of Scythian women buried with weapons. Collage by Michele Angel.

Photo Gallery: Warrior Women

The myth of the Amazons is a tale of fierce tribes of strange warrior women fighting Ancient Greek heroes in far away lands, but were they more than a legend?

Adrienne Mayor has written a book The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World. In it she lays out the archaeological, historical and DNA evidence which she says prove Amazons were really a people known as the Scythians, nomadic horse archers who roamed everywhere from the borders of China to Southern Siberia to the shores of the Black Sea.

She argues that in Scythian culture men and women were equals both in peace and war, a notion that was so shocking to the male-dominated society of ancient Greece that they achieved mythic status.