Women Warriors: The Folklore of Female Fighters & Historical Heroines

Katie: Welcome to the ArchaeoVenturers Project. I’m Katie Paul… Justine: And I’m Justine Benanty… Katie: And here’s what we’re digging.


Katie: Welcome to the ArchaeoVenturers Project.
I’m Katie Paul… Justine: And I’m Justine Benanty… Katie: And here’s what we’re digging into
this week. A lot of what you’ve seen in the news lately regarding ISIS is probably
referencing the women warriors fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq. But what you may not know
is that women in combat is not necessarily a new thing, it’s been going on for thousands
of years. Of course, most famously, Joan of Arc was known for being a martyr and heroine
of the fifteenth century as she led the French troops into victory over the British troops
during the Hundred Years War. Justine: Well, we all know about Joan of Arc.
I mean, she’s on a horse with a sword in her hand and riding right into battle, I mean… Katie: Right, however… Justine: In combat, right? Katie: No, not necessarily. Contrary to popular
belief she was not actually involved in hand to hand combat. However, she did join her
male troops, leading them into victory as a commander. Justine: Interesting. Well, in ancient Greek
mythology we have the Amazonian women who Herodotus places near Scythia, which is actually
modern day Ukraine. The Amazon women, contrary to popular belief as well, has nothing to
do with the Amazon rainforest. Katie: So Herodotus did not go to the Amazon? Justine: He did not. Actually, the amazon
word derives from ancient Iranian, or Persian, and Greek. So the Iranian one comes from the
word warrior and the Greek is from the word for manless or without a husband., because
these women were portrayed as, you know, they would cut off their breasts so that they could
actually aim their bow and arrow better right into battle. Katie: That’s dedication. Justine: Yeah, I mean, actually archaeologists
have found in sites in ancient Scythia 25% of the burials of women have bows and arrows
in there. So there’s a lot of validity to this myth, so… Katie: Well and that’s… Justine: Badasses all around… Katie: They go back even further than that.
In 271 Gothic women were fighting with their male comrades in the same garb and were actually
captured by Roman soldiers and paraded through the streets with signs that read ‘Amazons’.
But, even earlier than that there were women in combat. Justine: Not surprising! Katie: Famously, Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra,
which is a site you may know of as a result of the ongoing Syrian war. It’s one of the
most famous world heritage sites in Syria and it’s unfortunately been subject to conflict.
But what it’s famous for is Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra, led her troops into victory over
the Romans at that site. Justine: Interesting. Well, I mean, we’ll
be learning a lot more about Palmyra I’m sure as the news goes on. Katie: And a lot more about the women fighting
ISIS, which is something that is even more relevant to today, and those are the kind
of women that we should really look at as the heroes of right now. Justine: Well, I agree. My name is Justine
Benanty… Katie: And I’m Katie Paul… Justine: And thanks for getting dirty with
us.

One thought on “Women Warriors: The Folklore of Female Fighters & Historical Heroines”

  1. There are some articles and different investigations about amazon warriors, but we have to wait some years more to found representative investigations and pop up this topic to be known for people. Nice video and continue like this! Congrats

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