New research shows ancient Maya women were powerful leaders
Cynthia Robin, a professor of anthropology at Northwestern University, called Patel’s research a “very significant finding” and stressed the importance of looking at history to inform the present.
“One of the things we know about Maya society is before the Spanish conquest there was no glass ceiling for women as there appears to be in our own society,” she said.
Robin said that in Maya culture, women were heads of state as well as war lords.
“One of the great things about archaeological research is that it can show us how different life was in the past and how it is in the future,” she said. “So if we assume that gender relations were always the same then we’re just kind of justifying the inequalities that exist today.”