Your Neolithic Ancestral Mother Could Probably Have Bench Pressed You

Samuel Reason | December 15th, 2017

In a recent study by Science Advance researchers discovered that we have been looking at prehistoric woman’s bones wrong all these years. In fact, a prehistoric woman would have probably easily beaten professional women weightlifters today!

Researchers were able to come to this conclusion by comparing the bones of women who lived during the first 5,500 years of farming with those of your typical college student and even compared them with an elite women’s rowing team. Well, apparently our Neolithic mothers would have been able to bench press us quite easily! One would have thought that the strongest arms would have been found in the members of our elite athletes, but that does not seem to be the case. Years of farming, hunting, and gathering seems to be the key to creating huge upper body strength.

Harvesting crops and grounding up grain, at the time with very limited tools would have required a lot of physical labor. This meant that women were pretty much constantly working out and never had a cheat day. Researchers looked at the measures of the bones and the muscle strength, to come to the realization that prehistoric women had a much stronger upper arm strength. The main theory behind this is that grinding grain at the time with no machinery would have been a very repetitive task and given them powerful arms as a result.

This is actually the first time scientists have compared prehistoric women bones with women of today, in the past, they only checked them against men. Which is actually not very helpful, you see male bone changes much differently due to testosterone. Estrogen does not have such a big impact on bones, therefore comparing prehistoric women bones to men is like comparing apples and oranges. It is completely different, yet for some reason, scientists did not bother to check until now.

And thank god they did because this is definitely an eye-opening study that shows how the living conditions of the time would have been very tough! Let us be honest, we couch potatoes would not stand much of a chance. In fact, the researchers were not even too sure if professional athletes would have been able to complete the daily routine prehistoric woman faced. You would find yourself pounding grain with a rock for 5 to 6 hours a day! Yet they also found time to fetch water, milk cows, and produce clothing with hides. Pretty amazing, no?

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