chapter  8
The Gendered House
Pages 26

I f this chapter had been written 30 years ago, it would have focused primarily on finding women in the archaeological record and secondarily on a more concentrated search for women’s spaces. Commensurate with critical works by cultural

anthropologists on subjects related to gender issues (e.g., Ardener 1993; Massey 1994; H. Moore 1996; Rosaldo and Lamphere 1974; Sanday 1981; Spain 1992; and ethnographic sources cited below), the field of “gender archaeology” came into full force in the early 1990s (e.g., Gero and Conkey 1991; Gilchrist 1999; Hays-Gilpin and Whitley 1998; Sørensen 2000; Sweely 1999b; Tringham 1991a, 1994; Walde and Willows 1991; Wicker and Arnold 1999; Wright 1996). A short time later, those working in the architectural field engaged in explicitly gender-based studies of buildings and spaces (Ahrentzen 2003; Durning and Wrigley 2000). Gender studies today recognize the presence of women and men and that not all cultures (perhaps very few cultures) have a strictly binary view of gender, instead incorporating anthropologies that might include third or androgynous genders (Ashmore 2006; Dowson 2006; Gero and Scatollin 2001; Russell 2005; Stockett 2005; Voss 2000). That archaeological conditions rarely allow investigators to identify any type of gendered spaces has not deterred archaeologists from attempting to engender the past. As is the norm in archaeology, it is the material (e.g., artifactual) culture that is the most telltale in endeavors to seek out gendered behavior of the past. The biological record, in the form of botanical and faunal remains, and especially human burials, are also very

ties. Architecture, then, is not the usual lens through which archaeologists view the gendered past; rather, the material and biological remains associated with the architecture provide the fullest picture. However, architectural settings can sometimes provide startling insights into gendered activities, ideologies, and behaviors, as is shown in this chapter.