Zinat Publications

Warrior Women: An Archaeologists Search for History's Hidden Heroines

by Jeannine Davis-Kimball

with Mona Behan

New York: Warner Books

 

NOW Available through Zinat Press

REVIEW 1

REVIEW 3

Move over, Indiana Jones,

Dr. Jeannine Davis-Kimball discovers her passion for archaelogy late in life and desires to excavate the Kurgans of the Eurasian people. When fellow archaeologist Leonid Yablonsky invites her to join an American-Russian team working at Pokrovka on the Russian-Kazakstan border, she gets her chance. As the dig progresses, Davis-Kimball, Yablonsky and the rest of the team unearth the remains of male warriors, men buried with children, warrior women, priestesses, warrior-priestesses, and hearth women. The roles of these ancient individuals are assigned based on the grave goods buried with them. Dr. Davis Kimball writes: "It could not have been more fortuitous for me that the Early Nomads believed their possessions had to be included in their graves." This is the focus point of the book. Starting with the finds at Pokrovka, Dr. Davis-Kimball follows every possible thread in time and space, to give us as complete as possible a picture of the Eurasian people in general and the lives of the women in particular--not just the warrior women, but the priestesses and hearth women as well.


Dr. Davis-Kimball states that the Indiana Jones myth of archaeology must be dispelled, and then she goes on a series of travels and adventures (all wonderfully written) that would have daunted even that fictional hero, who I don't think could have faced the KGB with the intelligence and patience she does. Her travels take her from Northern Ireland to western China. She travels in history from about 4000 B.C.E. to the modern day. She visits dozens of museums, many countries, and even lives with a modern day family of nomads.


It seems that Dr. Davis-Kimball was motivated to write a book about women, and specifically about warrior women, only after she realized that warrior women's graves had been excavated for over 50 years by other archaeologists, and then the women were all but forgotten. She writes:"I was frustrated by the lack of interest exhibited by many historians and archaeologists regarding the status of women in the societies they studied." And: "I understood that women of high status were hidden in the shadows of traditional interpretations. It was time to launch a treasure hunt." Her gift to the world is to simply tell the truth about what she, and others, have discovered.


For those who saw the NOVA documentary about "The Mysterious Mummies of China", (the caucasoid mummies discovered in China's Xinjiang province), Dr. Davis-Kimball was invited to be part of that documentary team, and there is an excellent chapter in her book that tells the story behind the documentary.


Dr. Davis-Kimball is gracious in giving credit to others. There must be several hundred names in this book of the people she has worked with, or whose work she has studied. There is even a touch of romance as she writes praisingly of her husband (an engineer) who was part of the team at Pokrovka, and who accompanies her in her numerous travels.
And finally, this book was an inspiration, that growing old does not mean growing stale, and that, even late in life, a person can become what he or she truly wishes to be.


Equal parts archaeology, adventure, autobiography, travelogue, this is history at it's readable best.

A reader from USA

March 6, 2002