Case File: Amazon Women
Date: 4th Century BC
Description: In Greek and Roman mythology, the Amazons were daughters of Ares, the god of war, and women-warriors who attacked and pillaged villages in Northern Turkey. In later culture, they were described as fierce women warriors who lived thousands of years ago.
History: The female warriors known as the "Amazon Women" were first believed to be just myths, until excavations done in southern Russia found several tombs, bones, and weapons of female warriors dating back to 4th Century BC. Since 1993, teams of American and Russian archaeologists have been excavating Iron Age burial mounds in southern Russia. The burial mounds contained the remains of both men and women.
A fourteen-year-old girl was among the remains. There were several interesting artifacts buried with her, including: several bronze arrowheads, a dagger, and a large boar tusk that was probably suspended around her waist with a cord. Another woman was found with a bronze arrowhead still embedded in her body cavity. This suggested that she died in battle.
Other artifacts found in the graves suggested that women in these societies were regarded as higher than men. Interestingly, there were several men that had children buried with them. There were no women that had children buried with them. This suggested that the men were more likely to be the caretakers of children in this society.
Background: The Amazons were a race of fierce women warriors that lived around 2,500 years ago, during the Golden Age of Greece. The word "Amazon" in Greek meant "one-breasted". The Amazon Women would cut off one of their breasts in order to make it easier to throw arrows during battle. The Greeks used the Amazons as examples of what their women should not be.
Investigations: Both American and Russian archaeologists studied the bones and investigated the Amazon legend.
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of the May 9, 1997 episode.