Archaeologists working at Stonehenge unearthed the remains of over a dozen women that were once buried at the ancient monument.
The find is particularly compelling because it may shed new light on the culture of the Stonehenge creators.
"Anyone buried at Stonehenge is likely to have been special in some way: high status families, possessors of special skills or knowledge, ritual or political leaders," archaeologist Mike Pitts told Discovery News.
The recent dig actually found 14 women and only nine men, leading to researchers suggesting that the era of Stonehenge was one of more gender equality than time periods before or after the monument was in use.
These findings stand in stark contrast to the popular depiction of the monument as one primarily overseen and used by men.
"The archaeology now shows that as far as the burials go, women were as prominent there as men," Pitts told the website.
Based on carbon dating of the various remains excavated at Stonehenge over the years, it is believed the site served as a burial ground between around 3000 and 2000 B.C.
Researchers also point to Stonehenge's location as a possibly distinct barometer of a cultural shift where celebration of community became as important as mere markers for territorial lines.
Source: Discovery News