This find was particularly exciting. One of his coworkers kept finding projectile points, said Dr. Haas, and then a collection of points and other stone tools with the remains of a skeleton. The group of excavators loved it, he said, and the substance of the conversation was, “Oh, he must have been a great chief. He was a great hunter. “
As it turned out, the buried person, who now bears the scientific identifier WMP6, was female and around 17 to 19 years old. Her bones were lighter than you’d expect in a man, and examination of proteins in tooth enamel, a relatively new technique for gender identification, showed that she was definitely female.
Dr. Haas then examined 429 burials in America about 14,000 to 8,000 years ago and identified 27 people whose sex had been determined who were found using big game hunting equipment. Eleven were female and 16 were male. He and his authors conceded that the dates for these burials were inconclusive and that the only person who was undoubtedly female and a hunter was the person from Wilamaya Patjxa. Dr. However, Haas said the preponderance of evidence still led to the conclusion that women were about 30 to 50 percent of big game hunters.
This is the conclusion that Dr. Kelly unfounded. Two of the burials were of infants that Dr. Haas and his staff said they were buried with artifacts that suggested they would be hunters. And he warned against reading too much in funerals. “The interpretation of grave goods as a cultural, symbolic act is not easy or straightforward.”
He also criticized the interpretation of the other skeletons, saying, “If we accept WMP6 as the only female hunter in the sample, it suggests that the most likely prevalence of female hunters is 10 percent. I wouldn’t be surprised. “