Spinifex Press has released a revolutionary book that challenges our preconceptions about the past. Invisible Women Of Prehistory by Judy Foster and Marlene Derlet, argues that three million years of peace, a period when women’s status in society was much higher than it is now, preceded the last six thousand years of war during which men have come to hold power over women.
We often think of history as a linear development in which we are steadily moving out of a violent and patriarchal past to a more equitable and peaceful future. While we have no shortage of wars – and the incidence of violence against women is alarmingly high – we are told that humans have never lived in such peaceful times. We continually hear that our predecessors were violent but also that patriarchy is inevitable and universal. But what if none of this were true?
Based on many years of research into ancient history and prehistory, the authors of Invisible Women Of Prehistory challenge academic resistance to the idea that we are descended from peaceful societies in which women were respected and equal to men.
Judy Foster is an artist and teacher of art. After studying at Monash University, a chance encounter with the book Language of the Goddess by Marija Gimbutas in 1993, inspired her to begin researching the origin and meanings of visual symbolism.
Marlene Derlet taught in the Monash Centre for Indigenous Studies from 1989 to 1993. Born in Switzerland, Marlene is a linguist with a background in anthropology and sociology.
Together, Foster and Derlet have re-examined both the archaeological work of Marjia Gimbutas and recent research into the prehistories of Africa, East and South Asia, the Americas, Australia, South-East Asia and Oceania, to inspire us to seek new ways of organizing our lives and of interpreting the present.
Invisible Women Of Prehistory is published by Spinifex Press and will be released in Paperback (RRP. $39.95) and e-Book (RRP. $29.95) in May 2013.