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The Cultural Bias Behind This Warrior’s Grave


Nobody had an issue with the warrior interpretation of Bj 581 until it was argued that the remains were that of a female. Archaeologist Neil Price breaks down the cultural bias behind this warrior’s grave. To read more, please go to the About Page.

Premieres Tuesday, July 7 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)


- [Instructor] Fabulous jewelry has been found in the graves of some wealthy women.

But no jewelry was found in BJ581, only tools of violence and warfare.

The reaction to what was found in NJ581 illustrates how easily cultural bias can lead to incorrect conclusions.

- We have to be careful with making that jump.

So loads of weapons equals a warrior.

We have to be clear that that is an assumption we're making but it's quite a good one.

The one thing we can be sure of is that the decision to fill, in this case 581, with weapons makes a connection between that dead person, this precise person, and all those weapons.

That is an idea of warriorness, of warriorhood.

Does it reflect who they were in life?

We think it does.

Nobody had any problem at all about the warrior interpretation of this burial, all the while this person was male.

And suddenly lots of people have a problem with the warrior part the moment this person is female and that doesn't add up.

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