Secrets of the Dead

S18 E4 | CLIP

The Cultural Bias Behind This Warrior's Grave

Nobody had an issue with the warrior interpretation of Bj 581 until it was argued that the remains belonged to a female. Archaeologist Neil Price breaks down the cultural bias behind this warrior's grave.

AIRED: July 07, 2020 | 0:01:21
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TRANSCRIPT

- [Instructor] Fabulous jewelry has been found

in the graves of some wealthy women.

But no jewelry was found in BJ581,

only tools of violence and warfare.

The reaction to what was found in NJ581 illustrates

how easily cultural bias can lead

to incorrect conclusions.

- We have to be careful with making that jump.

So loads of weapons equals a warrior.

We have to be clear

that that is an assumption we're making

but it's quite a good one.

The one thing we can be sure of

is that the decision to fill, in this case 581,

with weapons makes a connection

between that dead person, this precise person,

and all those weapons.

That is an idea of warriorness, of warriorhood.

Does it reflect who they were in life?

We think it does.

Nobody had any problem at all

about the warrior interpretation of this burial,

all the while this person was male.

And suddenly lots of people have a problem

with the warrior part the moment this person is female

and that doesn't add up.

(dramatic music)

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