On 21-Mar-2016 11:10 AM, Dave Tooke wrote:
> Or perhaps not "butch" women, simply those who were filling a nominally male role, and buried with the appropriate accoutrements.
> Dave Tooke
I just reread what I wrote, and realise it was somewhat convoluted and
my meaning not very clear. What I meant was, if we have to throw out the
whole bag of sexing skeletons based on bone analysis, then even
skeletons that are buried with arms and that also appear very masculine
by current osteological standards could not be interpreted as
necessarily male. They could be females with very masculine skeletal
traits (if John is correct in his assumption that skeletons can't be
sexed other than by gendered grave goods).
I agree entirely that not-butch females could be buried with goods we
normally associate with males. I think John was arguing the reverse (or
at least, that males wouldn't be buried with "feminine"goods).
>> On 21 Mar 2016, at 14:29, Eve Richardson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> On 21-Mar-2016 9:26 AM, BRIGGS JOHN wrote:
>>> I understood the claims about the sexing of skeletons was that it was accurate.
>>> Are you now saying that it is probabilistic?
>>> John Briggs
>> No, not every skeleton can be accurately sexed on metric and non-metric traits of bones alone. As in most of life, there is a spectrum of 'male' vs 'female' traits. Some skeletons will fall in the middle; the rest can be identified as likely or certainly. There are standards that are used for assessments. The more traits that can be assessed, the better the chance of accuracy.
>> You can, of course, take this to mean that the Catterick Gallus was sexed wrongly because there is room for doubt (unless DNA testing was done; I couldn't find out). In which case, you might as well throw the entire body of osteological sexing of skeletons out the window. Of course, that would mean that we'd have to consider that any skeleton buried with a shield and sword may be female because there's nothing to prove otherwise. They may have been very butch women.
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