The bones of 94 women who lived in farming communities in Central Europe from 5300 BCE to around 850 AD reveal that prehistoric women had stronger arms than living women, including semi-elite female rowers. That’s likely because these farming women from the past worked incredibly hard — tilling soil, harvesting, and grinding grain by hand. And they probably started at a very young age, according to a study published today in Science Advances.
(A) Box plot of midshaft tibial J values showing the median, upper and lower quartiles, and interquartile range by group (n = 173). (B) Box plot of midshaft tibial Imax/Imin values showing the median, upper and lower quartiles, and interquartile range by group (n = 178). (C) Midshaft tibial solid-section images showing the variation in Imax/Imin values among Early Neolithic LBK women and living women. Summary statistics by group are given in Table 1.