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First thought to be a myth
"What kinds of weapon did the Amazons have at their disposal? According to the ancient writers and iconographic evidence, the basic arms of the female fighters were bows and arrows, darts, spears, and also double battle-axes. Among the defensive weapons, the Greek authors mentioned shields in the form of a half-moon, battle-belts, and Hellenic bronze helmets (Miroshina 1995: 6).
"The Amazons were closely connected with horses. In the written records they are described not only as brave warriors, but at the same time as skilful equestrians. The great role of the horse in the life of the Amazons is demonstrated vividly by the names of three legendary Amazon queens: Lisippa, Hippo, and Hippolita (Johns-Blay 1997:70).
"The ancient myth was suddenly verified by the proof of rich female graves containing full sets of weapons and horse trappings. The extraordinary material honours that were paid to these deceased women are a clear indication of the deep respect for women in Sauromatian society, and perhaps even the belief among this tribe in the Mother Goddess (Mother Ancestor) cult. The Sauromatian females were not only brave warriors, they also held many religious and ritual functions. Only female burials contain portable stone altars and bone spoons adorned with the figures of beasts - evidently ritual objects. And, at the same time, very often we find in these graves a full set of weapons."
Click to download articles: Amazons in the Scythia: New Finds at the Middle Don, Southern Russia Author(s): Valeri I. Guliaev Reviewed work(s): Source: World Archaeology, Vol. 35, No. 1, The Social Commemoration of Warfare (Jun.,2003), pp. 112-125 Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. http://www.jstor.org/
Submitted by Jarko Sichynsky,
"Rolle had discovered the graves of women buried with bows and arrows, swords and armour in the steppes of present-day Ukraine.
"The theory was the patriarchal Greeks had invented these women to show the infiinite superiority of males: okay, so women could ride, fight and kill, but they could never win. They were depicted as skimpy, smooth-cheeked creatures wearing trouses and pointy hats.
"They threw off their chains, slaughtered their Greek captors and took control of the ship. Unskilled in navigation, they drifted for days before reaching shore on the sea of Azov in what is now Ukraine."
"The Amazons were skilled riders and used defensive weapons."
Lyn Webster Wilde, author of On the Trail of Women Warriors, by Constable. Inquire on price through Book Offer, Geographical, 47c, Kensington Ct. London W8 5DA
The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World
Copyright Date: 2014
Published by: Princeton University Press
Stable URL: ADRIENNE MAYOR Copyright Date: 2014 Published by: Princeton University Press Pages: 536 Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/st
In Greek mythology, the Amazons were a tribe of women warriors. Apollonius Rhodius, at Argonautica, mentions that Amazons were the daughters of Ares and Harmonia. They were brutal and aggressive, and their main concern in life was war. [Wikipedia]
Archaeologists have found skeletons buried with bows and arrows, quivers, spears and horses. At first they assumed that anyone buried with weapons in that region must have been a male warrior. But with the advent of DNA testing and other bioarchaeological scientific analysis, they've found that about one-third of all Scythian women are buried with weapons and have war injuries just like the men. The women were also buried with knives, daggers and tools. So burial with masculine-seeming grave goods is no longer taken as an indicator of a male warrior. It's overwhelming proof that there were women answering to the description of the ancient Amazons.
When we say Amazons, we mean Scythian women. In this case Scythian warrior women. More: http://news.nationalgeographic.com