Transcript: Ep. 1 - Civilization | Sep 08, 2016

(music plays)

Amanda Foreman is in her early forties with shoulder-length wavy blond hair. She wears a pink shirt under a camel jacket.

An aerial view shows Trafalgar Square at night.

Amanda says THERE
HAS NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME TO
BE BORN A WOMAN.
THERE ARE MORE FEMALE HEADS OF
GOVERNMENT AND MORE WOMEN
LEADING ORGANIZATIONS AND
RUNNING BUSINESSES THAN AT ANY
OTHER TIME IN HISTORY.
YET IN MANY PARTS OF THE WORLD,
WOMEN DO NOT ENJOY THE SAME
LEGAL RIGHTS AS MEN.
THEY ARE RELEGATED TO UNEQUAL
SPHERES, WITHOUT ACCESS TO
EDUCATION OR EMPLOYMENT.

Close-up shots show women standing on the street, followed by TV clips of Beyonce, Angela Merkel, an important female leader and models.

Amanda continues AND FOR MANY, THE RIGHT TO LIVE
FREE FROM PHYSICAL AND SEXUAL
VIOLENCE IS STILL A DREAM.
MY NAME IS AMANDA FOREMAN, AND
AS A HISTORIAN AND BIOGRAPHER,
I HAVE SPENT MY CAREER STUDYING
WOMEN'S LIVES.

A TV monitor shows women wearing burqas protesting and a poster that reads "Eradicate rape."

Amanda continues THE SIMPLE TRUTH IS THAT OUR
STORY HAS NEVER FOLLOWED A
STRAIGHT LINE FROM DARKNESS TO
LIGHT.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Doctor Amanda Foreman."

Amanda continues THE REAL HISTORY OF WOMEN IS
FULL OF SWINGS AND REVERSIONS,
WITH LIBERTIES GAINED AND LOST
FROM ONE ERA AND ONE SOCIETY TO
THE NEXT.
I ALSO THINK THAT YOU CAN JUDGE
A CIVILIZATION BY THE WAY IT
TREATS ITS WOMEN AND THE DEGREE
TO WHICH WOMEN HAVE AUTHORITY,
AGENCY, AND AUTONOMY.
IN THIS SERIES, I WANT TO
RETELL THE STORY OF
CIVILIZATION WITH MEN AND WOMEN
SIDE BY SIDE FOR THE FIRST
TIME.
AND IN SO DOING, I'LL ASK SOME
DIFFICULT QUESTIONS.
WHY DID HISTORY BECOME ALMOST
EXCLUSIVELY MALE?
WHY HAS ALMOST EVERY
CIVILIZATION SET LIMITS ON
WOMEN'S SEXUALITY, SPEECH, AND
FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT?

Amanda travels the world visiting different cultures.

Amanda continues AND WHAT MAKES THE STATUS OF
WOMEN SO VULNERABLE TO THE
DICTATES OF POLITICS,
ECONOMICS, OR RELIGION?

(dramatic music plays)

Amanda continues BUT IT WILL ALSO BE A
CELEBRATION OF THE WOMEN WHO
HAVE CONFRONTED THESE LIMITS
AND CREATED THEIR OWN ROUTES TO
POWER.
FROM EMPRESS WU, CHINA'S ONLY
EVER FEMALE EMPEROR...
AND CHRISTINE DE PIZAN, THE
FIRST FEMINIST TO THE
REVOLUTIONARY WOMEN OF FRANCE,
RUSSIA, AND BEYOND.

Women around the world hold pictures of the female figures mentioned.

Amanda continues WE'LL LOOK AT THE WOMEN WHO
WROTE THEIR OWN HISTORY TO
CHANGE THE WORLD.
AND TO THOSE WHO THINK THAT
WOMEN HAVEN'T PLAYED AN ACTIVE
ROLE IN HISTORY, OR THAT OURS
IS SIMPLY A MINDLESS NARRATIVE
OF OPPRESSION, I WANT TO THROW
DOWN THE GAUNTLET.
BECAUSE I BELIEVE THAT ANY
HISTORY OF THE WORLD THAT
EXCLUDES WOMEN OR SIMPLY PUSHES
THEM TO THE MARGINS ISN'T JUST
A DISTORTION, BUT AN UNTRUTH
THAT MUST BE CHALLENGED.

(theme music plays)

Against a white background, women from different cultures and times appear inside ink drops flashing by. In a black brushstroke, the title of the program reads "The Ascent of Women."

The caption changes to "Civilisation."

Amanda travels sitting on the back of a jeep.

Amanda says THE HARD TRUTH IS THAT IN
ALMOST EVERY CIVILIZATION,
WOMEN HAVE BEEN DEEMED THE
SECONDARY SEX.
IT'S AN IDEA THAT HAS BECOME SO
INGRAINED IT'S BEEN WRITTEN
INTO HISTORY AS A BIOLOGICAL
TRUTH.
BUT WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?
HAVE HUMAN SOCIETIES ALWAYS
FOLLOWED THIS PATTERN?
AND HOW FAR BACK DO WE HAVE TO
GO TO FIND AN ALTERNATIVE
STORY?

(soft music plays)

Amanda continues TO BEGIN TO ANSWER THESE
QUESTIONS, I'VE COME TO
ANATOLIA IN CENTRAL TURKEY,
WEDGED BETWEEN THE NOMADIC
WORLDS OF THE STEPPES TO THE
NORTH AND THE CIVILIZATIONS OF
MESOPOTAMIA TO THE SOUTH...

An animated map of Asia appears. A red country reads "Anatolia."

Amanda continues THESE LANDS ARE THE SITE OF
NUMEROUS ARCHAEOLOGICAL
DISCOVERIES, FROM PREHISTORIC
SETTLEMENTS TO FEMALE
FIGURINES, THAT REVEAL
FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT IDEAS
ABOUT HOW EARLY SOCIETIES
ORGANIZED THEMSELVES.

Long thin bronze figurines appear on split screens. They are a woman with her eyes closed wearing a type of protective vest and a woman holding a baby.

The caption changes to "Çatalhöyük, Turkey."

Amanda continues THIS SITE, CATALHOYUK, IS ONE
OF THE FIRST KNOWN SETTLEMENTS
IN HUMAN HISTORY.
INHABITED FROM AROUND 7500 BC,
THE TAIL END OF THE STONE AGE,
ITS EARLY INHABITANTS, BETWEEN
5,000 AND 8,000 PEOPLE, LIVED
AT THE DAWN OF AGRICULTURE.
THEY HAD SEMI-DOMESTICATED
ANIMALS AND WERE LEARNING TO
SOW CROPS.

A man holds a black goat.

Amanda continues TO MAXIMIZE CHANCES OF
SURVIVAL, THEY GROUPED
THEMSELVES INTO A HIVE OF MUD
AND BRICK HOUSES, STACKED
TOGETHER IN A GIANT COMMUNE.
WHAT'S SPECIAL ABOUT THIS PLACE
IS THAT AFTER 20 YEARS OF
EXCAVATIONS, ARCHAEOLOGISTS
BELIEVE THAT CATALHOYUK DIDN'T
STRUCTURE ITSELF ALONG RIGID
IDEAS OF GENDER, WHERE THE
BIOLOGY OF MEN AND WOMEN
DETERMINED THEIR ROLES.

Archaeologists brush dirt off rocks in a site.

Amanda continues INSTEAD, ARCHAEOLOGIST IAN
HODDER THINKS IT WAS AN
AGGRESSIVELY EGALITARIAN WORLD
WHERE ALL HIERARCHIES WERE
NON-EXISTENT.

The caption changes to "Professor Ian Hodder." Ian is in his early fifties, clean-shaven with receding brown hair. He wears glasses and a pastel blue polo shirt.

Ian says WE'VE
LOOKED AND LOOKED AND LOOKED,
AND WE JUST DON'T FIND ANY
EVIDENCE OF A BIG CEREMONIAL
CENTRE, OR A CHIEFLY HOUSE.
ALL THERE IS AT CATALHOYUK IS
JUST LOTS AND LOTS OF HOUSES,
MUCH THE SAME SIZE AS EACH
OTHER.

A black and white drawing shows an ancient settlement.

Ian continues WE SEE THESE HOUSES THAT LOOK
LIKE THEY COULD PRODUCE MORE,
AND COULD BECOME QUITE
DOMINANT.
BUT THERE SEEMS TO BE THIS CAP
THAT STOPS THEM DOING IT.

Amanda says CATALHOYUK'S
INHABITANTS BURIED THEIR DEAD
UNDER THE SLEEPING PLATFORMS OF
THEIR HOUSES.
AND FROM ANALYZING THEIR DNA,
THE WEAR AND TEAR ON THEIR
BONES, AND THE SOOT FROM THEIR
LUNGS, IAN'S TEAM HAVE
DISCOVERED THAT BOTH MEN AND
WOMEN ATE THE SAME DIET, AND
THAT THERE WAS LITTLE GENDER
DIVISION OF LABOUR OR DOMESTIC
SPACE.

Skeletons sit in a white burial.

Amanda continues ASTONISHINGLY, THE BURIALS ALSO
STRESS COMMUNAL TIES, RATHER
THAN BLOOD TIES OR GENDER,
SUGGESTING THAT EVEN THE FAMILY
DIDN'T EXIST IN THE WAY WE KNOW
IT.

Ian says WE ASSUMED
THAT THE PEOPLE BURIED BENEATH
A HOUSE FLOOR WOULD BE A
NUCLEAR FAMILY.
BUT IT TURNED OUT WHEN WE DID
SOME GENETIC STUDIES THAT
THEY'RE NOT, THAT THE PEOPLE
BURIED BENEATH THE HOUSE FLOOR
ARE NO MORE CLOSELY RELATED TO
EACH OTHER THAN PEOPLE IN
DIFFERENT HOUSES.
SO, IT SEEMS THAT SOON AFTER
BIRTH, CHILDREN WERE SENT TO
FOSTER, OR TO LIVE IN OTHER
HOUSES ACROSS THE WHOLE
COMMUNITY.
SO, THE WHOLE COMMUNITY, IN A
WAY, WAS ONE GREAT FAMILY TIED
TOGETHER BY MANY THINGS,
INCLUDING BIOLOGICAL LINKS.
IF SOMETHING WENT SLIGHTLY
WRONG, THEY COULD ALWAYS DEPEND
ON SOMEONE ELSE IN THESE VERY,
VERY COMPLEX RITUAL AND SOCIAL
TIES THAT TIED EVERYBODY
TOGETHER.
SO, CATALHOYUK IS A SOCIETY
THAT'S VERY UNLIKE OUR SOCIETY,
AND IT'S DIFFICULT TO GET YOUR
HEAD AROUND, IN A WAY.

Amanda says THE MOST FAMOUS FIND
FROM CATALHOYUK WAS A FEMALE
FIGURINE, WHO MANY BELIEVE WAS
THE PRINCIPAL DEITY OF THE
SITE'S NEOLITHIC INHABITANTS.
FOUND IN A GRAIN BIN, SHE IS
THOUGHT TO DEPICT A CORPULENT
FERTILITY FIGURE ON A THRONE,
FLANKED BY LEOPARDS, WITH HER
FEET RESTING ON TWO HUMAN
SKULLS, LIFE AND DEATH IN ONE
IMAGE.

Local women hold a picture of the deity named

Amanda continues EVER SINCE, SHE HAS BECOME THE
PRIDE OF ANATOLIA, PARTICULARLY
AMONG ITS LOCAL MUSLIM WOMEN.

A woman wearing a red headscarf speaks in a local language. Subtitles read "We call this the Mother Goddess."

A local young woman says SINCE IT
SYMBOLISED
ABUNDANCE FOR THE
PEOPLE OF ÇATALHÖYÜK...
THEY SCULPTED
THE MOTHER GODDESS IN
ORDER TO MAKE HER
AN ETERNAL FIGURE.
PLENTY OF ABUNDANCE
STILL SPRINGS FROM
THESE LANDS AND
HOPEFULLY IT
WILL KEEP GOING IN THE
FUTURE.

The caption changes to "The Seated Woman of Çatalhöyük. Circa 6,000 B. C."

Amanda says THE ORIGINAL
FIGURINE, NOW WITH A RESTORED
HEAD, IS HELD AT THE MUSEUM OF
ANATOLIAN CIVILIZATIONS IN
ANKARA.
TO MANY, SHE IS A SITE OF
PILGRIMAGE, A PROMISE PERHAPS
THAT IN EARLY SOCIETIES, GOD
WAS NOT A MAN BUT A WOMAN.

Amanda leans to look at the small figurine displayed in a museum.

She continues ALTHOUGH WE'LL NEVER KNOW WHAT
SHE MEANT TO THE PEOPLE OF
CATALHOYUK, WHAT SHE DOES
REVEAL IS THAT IN A PRECARIOUS,
PRE-AGRICULTURAL WORLD, WHERE
SURVIVAL WAS CLOSELY TIED TO
THE VAGARIES OF NATURE, A
WOMAN'S ABILITY TO PRODUCE NEW
LIFE TOOK ON A SPECIAL, PERHAPS
EVEN SACRED SYMBOLISM.
THE SEATED WOMAN OF CATALHOYUK
HAS THIS POWERFUL BEAUTY, AND
HER POSTURE VERY OBVIOUSLY
PROJECTS THIS TRIPLE SENSE OF
WOMAN, FERTILITY AND THE POWER
OF NATURE.
AND HER IMAGERY, ESPECIALLY THE
FELINES, AND THE FACT THAT
SHE IS SITTING ON SOME KIND
OF SYMBOLIC THRONE: THESE CAN
BE SEEN IN VARIOUS GUISES
IN MANY DIFFERENT
CIVILIZATIONS.
WHAT REMAINS A CONSTANT IS THIS
THEME THAT CELEBRATES THE POWER
OF WOMAN TO REPRODUCE LIFE, THE
SACRED MYSTERIES OF THE EARTH,
AND LIFE CONQUERING DEATH.

(music plays)
A sunflower field appears.

Amanda continues IN THE FOLLOWING MILLENNIA, AS
AGRICULTURE BECAME INCREASINGLY
CONTROLLED, SOCIETY BEGAN TO
ORGANIZE ITSELF AROUND MORE
RECOGNIZABLE DIVISIONS OF
GENDER.
WOMEN'S ROLES BECAME TIED TO
MOTHERHOOD AND THE HOME.
THEIR STATUS BECAME SECONDARY
TO MEN, WHO TOOK CONTROL OVER
PROPERTY AND PUBLIC SPACE,
IDEAS THAT IN LATER RELIGIONS
WOULD BECOME THE NATURAL ORDER
OF LIFE.
TO BEST UNDERSTAND WHY THIS
STARTED, WE HAVE TO LOOK AT THE
FIRST CIVILIZATIONS THAT
EMERGED IN MESOPOTAMIA.
THE FIRST WAS SUMER, WHICH
DEVELOPED AROUND 4000 BC
BETWEEN THE TIGRIS AND
EUPHRATES RIVERS, IN WHAT IS
NOW WAR-TORN IRAQ.
ORIGINALLY A COLLECTION OF UP
TO 20 CITY-STATES, SUMER
CONTINUED FIRST UNDER THE
BABYLONIAN EMPIRE, AND THEN
UNDER THE ASSYRIAN, UNTIL THE
6TH CENTURY BC.

The animated map appears. Shades of brown highlight a large area. It reads "Sumer, Euphrates, Tigris." A blue area reads "Persian Gulf." The, a green shade rises to the north and a purple one covers a wider area.

Amanda continues OVER ITS COURSE, IT SAW HUGE
CHANGES IN THE STATUS AND ROLES
OF WOMEN.
THE SUMERIANS WERE A DYNAMIC
AND INTELLECTUALLY CURIOUS
PEOPLE.
AND LIFE IN THE FERTILE
CRESCENT, WHERE THE FIRST
AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION TOOK
PLACE, CREATED SUCH ABUNDANCE
THAT THEY WERE ABLE TO CHANNEL
THEIR ENERGIES INTO GREAT
INVENTIONS, IMPROVEMENTS, AND
DISCOVERIES THAT LITERALLY
CHANGED THE WORLD.
THE SUMERIANS HARNESSED THE
GREAT POWER OF THE TIGRIS AND
THE EUPHRATES TO CREATE THE
FIRST IRRIGATION SYSTEM.
THEY INVENTED THE WHEEL, THE
PLOUGH, MATHEMATICS.
THEY STUDIED THE STARS AND
CREATED THE FIRST CALENDAR.
AND MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL, THEY
INVENTED WRITING IN 3300 BC.
AND IN THIS WORLD, WOMEN
THRIVED.

Two ancient Mesopotamian clay tablets sit on a table.

Amanda continues IN THE TEMPLES, THE HIGH
PRIESTESSES HAD THE SAME POWER
AND STATUS AS THE HIGH PRIESTS.
IN THE LEGAL WORLD, WOMEN HAD
ACCESS TO THE LAW AND COULD
REPRESENT THEMSELVES.
IN BUSINESS, WOMEN HAD NO
RESTRICTIONS.
AND IN FAMILY, WHEN THEY
ENTERED INTO A MARRIAGE, WOMEN
BROUGHT THEIR OWN PROPERTY AND
THEY COULD GET DIVORCED.
AND IN EDUCATION, WOMEN COULD
STUDY WRITING JUST AS MUCH AS
THE MEN.

(piano music plays)

Amanda continues OPEN AND OUTWARD LOOKING, EARLY
SUMER SHOWS THAT THERE WAS NO
BLUEPRINT FOR GENDER INEQUALITY
IN EARLY CIVILIZATION.
BUT THAT CHANGED IN 2300 BC,
THE TIME OF THE PYRAMIDS AND
EGYPT, WHEN THE AKKADIAN SARGON
THE GREAT CONQUERED SUMER AND
MADE IT A VASSAL STATE.
IN THIS NEW WORLD, WOMEN BEGAN
TO LOSE THE FREEDOMS THAT THEY
HAD ONCE ENJOYED.
THEIR PARTICIPATION IN THE
ECONOMY WAS RESTRICTED.
THEY WERE SHUT OUT FROM
EDUCATION IN THE PROFESSIONS.
BUT MOST IMPORTANT OF ALL,
WOMEN BEGAN TO BE EXCLUDED FROM
POSITIONS OF POWER AND PUBLIC
SPACE.

Amanda walks across a mountain.

Amanda continues IRONICALLY, IT WAS THE
ABUNDANCE OF A FERTILE CRESCENT
THAT CAUSED THIS CHANGE.
ALONGSIDE AGRICULTURAL SURPLUS
CAME CLASS AND THE UNEQUAL
DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH.
OUT OF THAT CAME ARMIES AND
MILITARY RULERS TO CLAIM POWER,
AND WHO WANTED TO PASS THAT
POWER DOWN TO THEIR MALE HEIRS.
ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO SEE
INTO THE HEART OF ANY
CIVILIZATION IS TO LOOK AT THE
ART IT LEAVES BEHIND.
AND THIS WORLD IS RESOLUTELY
MALE.

Amanda visits the sculpture collection of a museum.

Amanda continues THERE'S THE COURTIER, EBIH-IL.
GUDEA, THE KING OF LAGASH.
AND THE VICTORY STELE OF SARGON
THE GREAT AND HIS MALE HEIRS,
CRUSHING THEIR ENEMIES AND
ASSERTING THEIR DIVINE RIGHT TO
RULE.
IT'S A MALE WORLD THAT MIRRORED
THE HIERARCHY OF THE GODS.
THE SEATED WOMAN HAS EVOLVED
INTO GODDESSES OF FERTILITY AND
NATURE, BUT IT'S THE MALE GODS
OF JUSTICE AND REASON WHO ARE
NOW THE FAVOURED GODS OF
CIVILIZATION.

The caption changes to "British Museum, London."

Amanda continues AMONG THESE MONUMENTS TO
CONQUEST AND POWER,
MESOPOTAMIAN WOMEN HAVE BECOME
INCREASINGLY INVISIBLE.
BUT ONE VOICE CLAMOURS TO BE
HEARD.

The caption changes to "Enheduanna. 2285-2250 B.C."

Amanda continues IT BELONGS TO ENHEDUANNA, THE
WORLD'S FIRST NAMED AUTHOR, AND
THE FIRST OF MANY INDIVIDUAL
WOMEN IN THIS STORY WHO FORGED
HER OWN ROUTE TO POWER IN A
MALE-DOMINATED WORLD.
TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HER,
I'VE COME TO MEET Dr. IRVING
FINKLE, A KEEPER OF
MESOPOTAMIAN CULTURE AT THE
BRITISH MUSEUM.
WHO WAS ENHEDUANNA?

Irving Finkle is in his sixties with a long white beard and white hair. He wears glasses and a black three-piece suit.

Irving says ENHEDUANNA WAS THE DAUGHTER OF
KING SARGON THE FIRST, WHO WAS THE
FIRST KING, IN FACT, TO UNITE
WHAT WE CALL MESOPOTAMIA INTO A
SINGLE EMPIRE.
AND SHE WAS APPOINTED BY HER
OWN FATHER TO BE THE EN
PRIESTESS, AS WE CALL IT -
E-N, THE EN PRIESTESS OF THE
MOON GOD IN THE CITY OF UR.
WHICH WAS THE HIGHEST RELIGIOUS
APPOINTMENT IN THE CULTURE AT
THE TIME.
IT WAS THE PINION POSITION
IN ORDER FOR THE RELIGIOUS
WORLD TO FUNCTION, AND SHE
WAS IN CHARGE OF IT ALL.

Amanda says ENHEDUANNA CREATED
THE WORLD'S FIRST LITERARY
MASTERWORK, A COLLECTION OF 42
HYMNS WRITTEN ON CLAY TABLETS,
IN PRAISE OF ALL THE TEMPLES
AND GODS IN HER FATHER'S
EMPIRE, AND WHICH PLAYED A
VITAL ROLE IN LEGITIMIZING HIS
RULE.

Close-up shots show details sculpted on a small clay tablet.

Irving says ONE
COULD, I THINK, ARGUE THAT THIS
HAD SOME KIND OF UNITING
EFFECT.
BECAUSE THE ANTECEDENTS OF
POLITICAL LIFE IN MESOPOTAMIA
WERE INDEPENDENT CITY-STATES,
EACH OF WHOM HAD THEIR
IMPORTANT GOD AND THEIR
IMPORTANT TEMPLE.
AND TO SOME EXTENT THEY WERE
RIVALS, AND IT WOULD BE A
LEGITIMATE POINT TO THINK THAT
SARGON THOUGHT IF ENHEDUANNA
SITS IN THIS CHAIR AND PRODUCES
THIS THING, IT WOULD BE RATHER
USEFUL, BECAUSE EVERYBODY WILL
SEE THAT ALL THE TEMPLES AND
ALL THE GODS ARE ONE SYSTEM.
AND IT IS A MANIFESTATION OF
THE UNITY OF THE COUNTRY AND
THE GODS, WHO WERE ALL PART OF
THE SAME ENVIRONMENT.

Amanda says LIKE SO MANY WOMEN,
THIS MADE ENHEDUANNA THE
CULTURAL POWER BEHIND HER
FATHER'S THRONE, AND SHE KNEW
IT.
BECAUSE SHE SIGNS HER WORK,
MAKING IT THE FIRST SIGNED
PIECE OF LITERATURE IN HISTORY,
BY A MAN OR A WOMAN.
BUT I THINK HER MOST TELLING
WORK IS HER POEM, "THE
EXALTATION OF INANA," A
STUNNING HYMN IN WHICH SHE
ALLIED HERSELF TO THE GODDESS
OF FERTILITY, NATURE, AND
DESTRUCTION.
Amanda reads "MISTRESS OF HEAVEN, MY LADY,
YOU ARE THE GUARDIAN OF THE
GREAT DIVINE POWERS.
IN THE VAN OF BATTLE, ALL IS
STRUCK DOWN BEFORE YOU.
WITH YOUR STRENGTH, MY LADY,
TEETH CAN CRUSH FLINT.
YOU CHARGE FORWARD LIKE A
CHARGING STORM."

She continues WHAT MAKES THE POEM
REVOLUTIONARY IS THAT SHE
INCLUDED WITHIN IT ELEMENTS OF
HER OWN LIFE, PASSIONATELY
REPEATING HER NAME.
I AM ENHEDUANNA, SHE WRITES.
I AM THE BRILLIANT, HIGH
PRIESTESS OF NANNA.
4,000 YEARS AGO, THE USE OF THE
WORD "I" IN POETRY WAS SIMPLY
UNHEARD OF.
ENHEDUANNA WASN'T JUST THE
FIRST WOMAN; SHE WAS THE FIRST
WRITER TO PERSONALLY IDENTIFY
HERSELF.
Holding the clay table, she continues WHAT MAKES THIS DECLARATION
"I, ENHEDUANNA" SO MOVING IS
THAT WE HAVE, AT THE DAWN OF
CIVILIZATION, THIS BEAUTIFUL
AND CONFIDENT STATEMENT OF THE
FEMALE: I AM.
ENHEDUANNA'S DEFIANT
DECLARATION OF AUTONOMY, SO
SINGULAR AND SO SYMBOLIC OF THE
HISTORY OF WOMEN, IS ALL THE
MORE MOVING, BECAUSE SHE LIVED
AT A PIVOTAL MOMENT.
BEFORE HER, SUMERIAN WOMEN HAD
EQUAL STATUS TO MEN, YET AFTER,
AS THE LAWS OF SOCIETY BECAME
EVER MORE FIXED AROUND THE
PATRIARCHAL FAMILY, WOMEN'S
RIGHTS BECAME INCREASINGLY
CONTROLLED AND CURTAILED.

The caption changes to "The Enmetena and Urukagina cones. Circa 2,400 B.C."

Amanda stands by a showcase at the museum.

Amanda continues THESE ARE THE WORLD'S EARLIEST
KNOWN LAW CODES, AND WITHIN
THEM, WE HAVE THE FIRST
SILENCING OF THE FEMALE VOICE.
THERE'S A PHRASE ON ONE OF
THESE CONES THAT SAYS, IF A
WOMAN SPEAKS OUT OF TURN, THEN
HER TEETH WILL BE SMASHED BY A
BRICK.
DATING FROM 1770 BC, THE MOST
COMPLETE OF THE MESOPOTAMIAN
LAWS IS THE CODE OF HAMMURABI,
WHOSE BABYLONIAN EMPIRE HAD NOW
TAKEN OVER AS THE REGIONAL
POWER.
INSCRIBED ON A PHALLIC PIECE OF
BLACK OBSIDIAN, IT SHOWS
HAMMURABI RECEIVING THE LAWS
FROM SHAMASH, THE GOD OF THE
SUN, JUSTICE, AND ORDER, WHOSE
MISSION WAS TO PROTECT THE WEAK
FROM THE STRONG.
AND HERE, IN ITS 282
INTRICATELY CARVED LAWS, IS AN
EYE FOR AN EYE, A TOOTH FOR A
TOOTH, FOR THE FIRST TIME.
CONSIDERED BY MANY TO BE ONE OF
THE FOUNDATION STONES OF WORLD
CIVILIZATION, WHAT'S CLEAR IS
THAT THEY ARE A MIXED BLESSING
FOR WOMEN.
ON THE POSITIVE SIDE, THE CODE
RECOGNIZED A WOMAN'S BASIC
RIGHT TO OWN PROPERTY.
THIS WAS VITAL, BECAUSE IT GAVE
WOMEN LEGAL PROTECTION WHEN IT
CAME TO CONTROL OVER THEIR
DOWRIES AND INHERITANCES.
THE LAW ALSO FORBADE ARBITRARY
ILL TREATMENT OR NEGLECT.
WIVES WHO WERE ILL OR BARREN
COULDN'T SIMPLY BE DISCARDED.
AND IN DIVORCE, WOMEN COULD
KEEP THEIR DOWRIES.

Close-up views show symbols carved in a tall piece of black rock.

Amanda continues IN WIDOWHOOD, WIVES HAD THE
RIGHT TO USE THEIR HUSBAND'S
ESTATES FOR THEIR LIFETIME.
FUNDAMENTALLY, THE WOMEN OF
MESOPOTAMIA WERE RECOGNIZED BY
LAW AS BEING DISTINCT PERSONS.
YET, ON THE NEGATIVE SIDE, THE
CODE WAS A BLOW TO WOMEN'S
ECONOMIC AND SEXUAL FREEDOM.
UNLIKE SUMER, WOMEN WERE
FORBIDDEN FROM DOING ANY KIND
OF COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY OUTSIDE
THE HOUSEHOLD.
BUT FAR MORE DAMAGING, IN MY
OPINION, WAS THE POWER IT GAVE
TO MEN OVER WOMEN'S BODIES.
THE LAW LEGALIZED PATRIARCHY.
HUSBANDS AND FATHERS NOW OWNED
THE SEXUAL REPRODUCTION OF
THEIR WIVES AND DAUGHTERS.
THIS MEANT THAT WOMEN COULD BE
PUT TO DEATH FOR ADULTERY, THAT
VIRGINITY WAS NOW A CONDITION
FOR MARRIAGE.
AND IN THE CASE OF RAPE, IT
WASN'T JUST AN ASSAULT AGAINST
A WOMAN, IT WAS AN ECONOMIC
OFFENCE AGAINST A MAN.
FOR EXAMPLE, IF HIS DAUGHTER
WAS RAPED, HE SUFFERED THE LOSS
OF HER BRIDE PRICE.
SHE WAS, IN A SENSE, DAMAGED
GOODS.
NOW, IT'S IMPORTANT TO
RECOGNIZE HERE THAT WE DON'T
KNOW HOW THESE LAWS WORKED AT A
LOCAL LEVEL.
THEY ARE AN IDEAL.
BUT THE DRIVING FORCE OF THESE
LAWS SHINES THROUGH.
MALE AUTHORITY AND PATRIARCHAL
NOTIONS OF MALE HONOUR ARE NOW
SACROSANCT.

(music plays)

Amanda says IF HAMMURABI'S BABYLON MARKED A
DOWNWARD SHIFT IN THE LEGAL
STATUS OF WOMEN, THEN THE NEXT
IMPERIAL POWER IN THE REGION,
THE ASSYRIANS, WOULD REDUCE IT
EVEN FURTHER.
AS EVIDENCED IN THEIR OVERSIZED
ART, ALL BATTLES, PRISONERS,
AND MALE GODS, THIS WAS A WORLD
OBSESSED WITH MALE VIRILITY -
EVIDENCE NOT OF AN
OUTWARD-LOOKING CULTURE LIKE
EARLY SUMER, BUT A MILITARISTIC
ONE THAT EXPANDED THROUGH PURE
CONQUEST.

Amanda continues visiting huge ancient sculptures at the museum.

Amanda continues CENTRAL TO THE ICONOGRAPHY OF
THE ASSYRIAN KINGS IS THE LION
HUNT, A SYMBOL NOT OF THE
HARNESSING OF NATURE, BUT OF
ITS DOMINATION AND CONTROL.
THIS IS A WORLD AWAY FROM THE
SEATED WOMAN OF CATALHOYUK.

The caption changes to "SMB Achaologisches Zentrum, Berlin."

A woman wearing white gloves takes a box out of a white modern shelf in a long corridor.

Amanda continues THE 112 ASSYRIAN LAWS, DATING
FROM THE 12TH CENTURY BC, ARE
NOW HOUSED IN BERLIN.
OVER HALF DEAL WITH MARRIAGE
AND SEX.
IN THEM, MANY OF THE PROTECTIVE
MEASURES FOR WOMEN IN THE
HAMMURABI CODE ARE TAKEN AWAY,
AND THE PRICE FOR
NON-COMPLIANCE IS EVER MORE
BRUTAL.
WHAT'S SO STRIKING IS HOW THE
LAWS SO DEEPLY ENSHRINE THE
PATRIARCHAL DOUBLE STANDARD.
MEN CAN DO WHAT THEY LIKE TO
THEIR WIVES.

Amanda sits at a table looking at the Assyrian Laws tablet.

She continues THEY CAN ILL-USE THEM.
IT SAYS HERE EXPLICITLY THAT
THEY CAN PULL OUT THEIR HAIR
AND TWIST THEIR EARS.
THEY CAN THROW THEM OUT INTO
THE STREETS WITHOUT THEIR
DOWRIES.
THEY CAN PAWN THEM WITHOUT ANY
PROTECTION.
IN SHORT, THEY CAN DO ANYTHING
THEY LIKE, EXCEPT KILL THEM
WITHOUT CAUSE.
WHAT'S MORE, FOR WOMEN, THEY
HAVE NO ECONOMIC RIGHTS AND
MANY BURDENS.
IF THEY HAVE AN ABORTION,
THEY'LL BE EXECUTED.
IF THEY COMMIT ADULTERY,
THEY'LL BE EXECUTED.
AND IF THEIR HUSBANDS COMMIT A
CRIME, THEN IT IS THEY WHO
COULD BE PUNISHED.
SO, FOR EXAMPLE, THE WIFE OF A
RAPIST WILL HERSELF BE RAPED IN
PUNISHMENT.
IN MY OPINION, THIS IS A HARSH
SOCIETY, WHERE THE LAW HAS
BECOME A CHARTER FOR MALE
OPPRESSION.
IN ASSYRIAN CULTURE, IT WAS ONE
ARTICLE OF CLOTHING THAT
SYMBOLIZED THE GROWING GULF
BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE STATUS.
ON THIS TABLET, LAW 40 IS THE
FIRST KNOWN VEILING LAW, 2,000
YEARS BEFORE ISLAM.
AND IT'S ASTONISHING HOW LITTLE
KNOWN THIS IS, GIVEN THE LEGACY
IT HAS LEFT BEHIND.
TO EXPLORE IT, I'VE COME TO
MEET A GROUP OF MIDDLE EASTERN
WOMEN FROM THE COUNTRIES THAT
WERE ONCE ANCIENT ASSYRIA.

(violin music plays)
Payman, Mayada, Jihan and a middle-aged woman stand looking at the camera. Mayada holds a reproduction of the tablet.

Mayada Alkhalil reads in a foreign language. She is in her mid-thirties with short light brown hair. She wears a long necklace and gray woven sweater.

Subtitles read "Married women, widows and Assyrian women must not go out on the street with their heads uncovered. Daughters of the upper classes must be veiled with a veil, an abaya cloak or a long robe."

Payman Abdhalla is in her forties with short brown hair. She wears red-rimmed glasses a bright blue shirt.

Payman reads A CONCUBINE
WHO GOES OUT ON THE STREET WITH
HER MISTRESS MUST VEIL HERSELF.
A PROSTITUTE MUST
NOT VEIL HERSELF, HER
HEAD MUST BE UNCOVERED.

Amanda says THE LAWS DIVIDED
WOMEN INTO FIVE CATEGORIES:
WIVES AND DAUGHTERS OF THE
UPPER CLASS, CONCUBINES, TEMPLE
PROSTITUTES, HARLOTS, AND SLAVE
GIRLS - DIVIDING IN THEIR EYES
THE RESPECTABLE FROM THE
UNRESPECTABLE.
THE PUNISHMENTS FOR
TRANSGRESSION ARE PITILESS.

Mayada reads ANY MAN WHO SEES A VEILED
PROSTITUTE SHOULD
ARREST HER.
SHE IS TO RECEIVE 50
LASHES WITH A BAMBOO
CANE.

The middle-aged woman reads ANY MAN WHO SEES
A VEILED SLAVE-GIRL
IS TO ARREST HER
AND BRING HER TO COURT.
HER EARS WILL BE
CUT OFF AND THE MAN
WHO ARRESTED HER
MAY TAKE HER CLOTHES.

Talking to Amanda, Payman says THIS
IS THE FIRST TIME I
HAVE HEARD ABOUT THIS LAW.
THAT THERE IS A LAW
THAT ASSYRIAN WOMEN MUST
BE VEILED...

The caption changes to "Payman Abdhalla. Kurdistan."

Payman continues SUCH A LONG TIME
AGO BEFORE ISLAM
AND CHRISTIANITY...
AND THAT IF SHE DOESN’T WEAR
A VEIL, SHE WILL BE PUNISHED,
IT REALLY AFFECTED ME.
I THOUGHT IT WAS JUST
IN ISLAM THAT
WOMEN MUST BE VEILED.

The caption changes to "Mayada Alkhalil. Syria."

Mayada says READING THE TEXT
IRRITATED ME.
WHAT IRRITATED ME MOST
WAS THE CLASSIFICATION
OF WOMEN AND PUTTING THEM
THROUGH MISERY.
THERE IS A DISCRIMINATION
AGAINST WOMEN
AND IT ALLOWS DIRECT
ABUSE...
OF WOMEN COMMANDED BY
THE TEMPLE OR RULES
AT THAT TIME.
I THINK MY INITIAL REACTION
WAS ANGER BECAUSE THIS
TEXT IS BEING IMPLEMENTED
CURRENTLY IN SYRIA
WHERE HUMAN RIGHTS SUPPOSEDLY EXIST,
BUT WHERE THE LANGUAGE
IS JUST SWEETENED.

Amanda says OF ALL THE LEGACIES
HANDED DOWN TO US FROM THE
ANCIENT WORLD, IT'S THE VEIL
THAT HAS BEEN THE MOST
PERVASIVE AND THE MOST
SYMBOLICALLY WEIGHTED.
A MARK OF CIVILIZATION THROUGH
GREECE, ROME, AND BYZANTIUM, IT
WOULD BECOME THE NUN'S HABIT
AND THE WIMPLE OF MEDIEVAL
EUROPE.
IN ASIA, IT WOULD SPREAD TO
CONFUCIAN CHINA AND KOREA.
AND IN ISLAM, IT WOULD BECOME A
MARK OF CLASS BEFORE IT BECAME
ONE OF FAITH.

The caption changes to "Jihan Akrawi. Kurdistan." Jihan is in her late twenties with long curly dark brown hair. She wears a black shirt and large round earrings.

Jihan says NOWADAYS IN
KURDISTAN, WE DON'T HAVE TO
WEAR A VEIL BY LAW.
BUT I'M FROM A LOWER SOCIAL
CLASS; WHEN I GO BACK TO MY
CITY, I HAVE TO BE MORE
COVERED.
AND IN SPECIFIC SPACES, I HAVE
ALSO TO WEAR A HIJAB THERE.

Amanda says WHAT THIS REMINDS US
IS THAT THERE IS A LONG HISTORY
TO THE VEIL, WHOSE COMPLEXITIES
AND CONTRADICTIONS WERE THERE
FROM THE START.
I DON'T THINK IT'S SURPRISING
THAT SUCH A TESTOSTERONE-FILLED
SOCIETY AS ASSYRIA WOULD BE
AMONG THE FIRST TO PASS A
VEILING LAW ON WOMEN.
STILL, IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE
DON'T PREJUDGE THE VEIL OR WHAT
IT MEANT IN ANCIENT TIMES.
ON ONE LEVEL, IT IS ALL ABOUT
MALE OWNERSHIP AND MALE
CONTROL.
BUT, ON ANOTHER, IRONIC THOUGH
IT MAY SEEM TO US, THE VEIL WAS
A WAY OF GIVING WOMEN A LIBERTY
AND FREEDOM TO GO OUTSIDE INTO
THE PUBLIC SPACE WITHOUT
COMPROMISING THEMSELVES OR
LOSING THE PROTECTION OF THEIR
HUSBANDS.
IN SOME MEASURE, WHAT THE VEIL
TOOK AWAY, IT ALSO GAVE BACK.
IT BOTH LIMITED WOMEN, BUT ALSO
PROTECTED AND GAVE THEM
FREEDOM, IN WHAT WAS
ESSENTIALLY A MAN'S WORLD.

The caption changes to "Orenburg Plain, South Russia."

Amanda continues IF THE DNA OF EARLY
CIVILIZATION WAS ROOTED IN MALE
CODES OF KINGSHIP, CLASS, AND
GENDER, ANOTHER CULTURE EMERGED
IN THE GRASSLANDS TO THE NORTH,
WHICH, IN THE LONG TERM, WOULD
MOUNT THE GREATEST CHALLENGE TO
EVERY SUBSEQUENT CIVILIZATION.
STRETCHING FROM UKRAINE IN THE
WEST, ACROSS KAZAKHSTAN AND
SOUTH RUSSIA TO MONGOLIA IN THE
EAST, THE EURASIAN STEPPES WAS
HOME TO THE NOMADS, MOST
NOTABLY THE SCYTHIAN,
SARMATIAN, AND PAZYRK TRIBES.

An animated map of Europe and Asia appears. A light green band stretches from the West to the East. A caption reads "The Eurasian steppes."

Amanda continues DOMINATED BY WARRIOR HORSEMEN,
THIS WAS JUST AS MALE-LED AND
MARSHALLED A WORLD.
THE BEST PASTURELANDS HAD TO BE
RIGOROUSLY DEFENDED, AND WOMEN
WERE OFTEN CAPTURED IN
INTER-TRIBAL WARS.

The jeep crosses an arid land.

Amanda continues BUT RECENT ARCHAEOLOGY HAS
REVEALED EVIDENCE OF GENDER
RELATIONS WITHIN THE TRIBES
THAT PROVES THAT THE CONTROL
AND SUBMISSION OF WOMEN WAS NOT
AN INEVITABLE DEVELOPMENT IN
ANCIENT CULTURE.
PROFESSOR LEONID YABLONSKY,
FROM THE MOSCOW INSTITUTE OF
ARCHAEOLOGY, HAS BEEN
EXCAVATING NOMADIC BURIAL SITES
CALLED KURGANS ACROSS SOUTHERN
RUSSIA FOR THE PAST 25 YEARS.

Leonid Yablonsky and his crew stand looking to the camera.

Amanda continues OVER THE COURSE OF HIS LONG
CAREER, HE HAS DISCOVERED
HUNDREDS OF BURIALS THAT REVEAL
THE CENTRALITY OF WOMEN TO
NOMADIC CULTURE.

Black and white pictures of burials appear on split screens next to clips of archaeologists working outdoors.

Leonid speaks Russian. He is in his early sixties with a white beard and white hair. He wears a light gray vest over a white shirt. Subtitles read "In female burials we didn’t just find adornment or jewellery, but other objects, including work tools. Work tools for working with leather. With some women, we also find objects to make tattoos. On top of that, women were responsible for the spiritual life."

Leonid continues OF
SPIRITUAL LIFE, THEY WERE
RESPONSIBLE.

Subtitles continue "Thus women’s social roles were much higher than men’s, although military leaders were only men."

Amanda says DID YOU FIND ANY
EVIDENCE OF WOMEN BEING BURIED
WITH WEAPONS?

Leonid says YES.

Subtitles continue "In the past, archaeologists used to believe that if a skeleton with weapons was found it definitely belonged to a male and if a skeleton with a necklace was found, it was definitely a female. But later, when they learned how to determine gender by analysing bones it turned out that this was not the case. Physical anthropologists proved that we had very often been mistaken."

Amanda says MANY OF PROFESSOR
YABLONSKY'S FINDS ARE NOW
HOUSED IN THE NATIONAL MUSEUM
IN ORENBURG.
THE FEMALE GRAVES CONTAIN A
REMARKABLE VARIETY OF
TREASURES.
THERE'S GOLD JEWELLERY, SUCH AS
TORCS AND FELINE COAT CLASPS;
SACRED OBJECTS, SUCH AS
MIRRORS, SEASHELLS, AND
PORTABLE ALTARS; AND A LARGE
CACHE OF WEAPONS, REVEALING
WOMEN'S ROLES AS WARRIORS
WITHIN THE TRIBE.

Now, Amanda and Leonid stand in a museum looking at various pieces.

Leonid holds a dagger and says LOOK, THE HANDLE
IS VERY SMALL.

Amanda says YEAH, YOUR HAND IS
TOO BIG.
IT COULD ONLY BE FOR A WOMAN.
IT'S A WOMAN'S IMPLEMENT.
AMONG THE TREASURES, ITEMS FROM
ONE INDIVIDUAL BURIAL STAND
OUT: THOSE OF A 14-YEAR-OLD
GIRL WHO WAS BURIED WITH OVER
40 BRONZE ARROWHEADS.

Leonid says A BOW IS A LONG-RANGE
BATTLE WEAPON.
IN OTHER WORDS, YOU DON’T HAVE
TO BE VERY STRONG PHYSICALLY
TO BE ABLE TO USE A BOW WELL.
BOTH DURING THE SECOND WORLD
WAR AND IN THE CONFLICT
IN THE CAUCASUS
IT WAS WOEMN WHO PERFORMED
THE ROLE OF SNIPERS.
BECAUSE A SNIPER RIFLE
IS A LONG-RANGE BATTLE
WEAPON.

Several arrowheads sit on a blue cloth.

He continues THAT IS WHY IT’S
POSSIBLE THAT DURING ANCIENT
SARMATIAN WARS
WOMEN USED BOWS WHILE
KEEPING THEIR DISTANCE
FROM THE ENEMY.

Amanda says MUCH LIKE NEOLITHIC
CATALHOYUK, THESE FINDS REVEAL
A WORLD IN WHICH THE
PRECARIOUSNESS OF SURVIVAL
NEGATED IDEAS OF SEGREGATION OR
DIVISIONS OF LABOUR.
WOMEN'S ROLES WERE NOT CONFINED
TO THEIR BIOLOGICAL FUNCTIONS,
OR TO DOMESTIC SPACE.
THE NOMADS WERE, IF YOU WILL, A
KIND OF THIRD WAY, DIFFERENT
FROM THE EMPIRES AND
CITY-STATES AROUND THEM.
AND AS FOR THE URBAN CODES THAT
GOVERNED LAND, PROPERTY,
STATUS, THE FAMILY, NONE OF
THESE APPLIED TO THEM.
AND WHAT THIS MEANT FOR WOMEN
WAS THAT THEIR VALUE EXTENDED
FAR BEYOND BEING SIMPLY SOMEONE
ELSE'S PROPERTY OR PRODUCING
SONS.

Golden bracelets sit on a red cloth.

Amanda continues THEY WERE RECOGNIZED BECAUSE OF
THEIR SKILLS, AND BECAUSE THEIR
CONTRIBUTION TO SOCIETY WAS
ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.
IT JUST GOES TO SHOW THAT
BIOLOGY ISN'T EVERYTHING.
ONE OF THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY
FINDS IN A STEPPE WAS MUCH
FURTHER EAST, IN THE ALTAI
MOUNTAINS ON THE RUSSIAN BORDER
WITH MONGOLIA.

The animated map appears. Different colours highlight areas below Russia.

Amanda continues THESE LANDS WERE HOME TO THE
PAZYRYK TRIBE, WHOSE TERRITORY
STRADDLED THE TRADE ROUTES OF
CHINA, INDIA, AND PERSIA.
IN 1993, PRESERVED IN THE ICE
OF THE UKOK PLATEAU, THE
RUSSIAN ARCHAEOLOGIST NATALIA
POLOSMAK FOUND A TOMB OF A
25-YEAR-OLD WOMAN DATING FROM
400 BC, WHOM SHE CALLED THE ICE
MAIDEN.

The caption changes to "National Museum, Gorno-Altaysk."

Amanda stands by a glass pyramid. She leans to look at a reconstruction of the Ice Maiden burial.

Amanda continues BURIED WITH HER WERE SIX HORSES
SACRIFICED FOR HER JOURNEY INTO
THE AFTERLIFE, PORTABLE TABLES
AND ALTARS CONTAINING CORIANDER
SEEDS AND A LAST MEAL OF
MUTTON, AND A LEATHER POUCH
CONTAINING A PRECIOUS SILVER
MIRROR, REVEALING HER STATUS AS
A REVERED, RELIGIOUS LEADER FOR
HER TRIBE.
CONTROVERSIALLY FLOWN TO MOSCOW
TO BE STUDIED AND PRESERVED,
SHE HAS SINCE BECOME A SYMBOL
OF NATIONAL PRIDE TO THE
PEOPLES OF THE ALTAI, AFTER
YEARS OF SOVIET RULE.

Aisula Takina sits on a white horse in the mountains holding a picture of the Ukok's Ice Maiden. Arzhan grabs the horse reins. She is in her thirties with long black hair in a braid and bangs. She wears a golden headdress, white robe with red edges and a golden necklace, resembling the Ice Maiden’s clothing.

The caption changes to "The Ukok Ice Maiden. Circa 400 B.C."

Aisula speaks Russian.

She says FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE ALTAI,
THESE EXCAVATED ARTEFACTS
AND KURGANS HAVE A VERY HIGH MEANING.

The caption changes to "Aisula Takina. Fashion Designer."

Aisula continues ALTAI PEOPLE REFER TO
THEM WITH TRUE BELIEF.
THEY BELIEVE SHE WAS OUR
KHAN, OUR PRINCESS.

Amanda says SHE WAS ALSO
DISCOVERED IN THE MOST COMPLETE
SET OF NOMADIC CLOTHING EVER
FOUND: FELT RIDING BOOTS, A
LONG SHIFT MADE FROM EXPENSIVE
INDIAN SILK.

A clip shows the clothing mentioned being exposed.

Amanda continues AROUND HER NECK WAS A
BEAUTIFULLY CRAFTED NECKLACE OF
EIGHT FELINES.
ON HER HEAD WAS A HORSEHAIR
WIG, CROWNED WITH A HAT NEARLY
A METRE HIGH, AND COVERED WITH
A COTERIE OF SYMBOLIC ANIMALS
THAT ONCE AGAIN REVEALS THE
ALLIANCE OF WOMEN WITH NATURE
IN ANCIENT CULTURE.

The caption changes to "Arzhan Kukhaev. Craftsman." Arzhan is in his early thirties, clean-shaven with a shaved head. He wears a white, brown and black traditional jacket.

Arzhan says LOOKING AT HIS MASTERPIECE I WAS CHARMED.
THOSE BIRDS ARE SYMBOLIC
HORSES, SKY HORSES BETWEEN THE
UPPER AND LOWER WORLDS.
BENEATH THEM IS A DEEPER
STANDING ON A SPHERE.
THIS BALL IS A SYMBOL
OF POWER. TAKING THE
SOULS OF BIRDS AND ANIMALS,
SHE HARNESSES THEIR POWER
AND I THINK SHE WAS A VERY POWERFUL
PERSON.

Amanda says NOW HOUSED IN THE
NATIONAL MUSEUM IN
GORNO-ALTAYSK, THE MUMMY OF THE
ICE MAIDEN HAS MADE AN
EMOTIONAL RETURN HOME AFTER 19
YEARS.
AND WHAT HER BODY REVEALS IS
PERHAPS THE MOST SIGNIFICANT
FIND OF ALL: A SET OF
ANIMALISTIC TATTOOS WHICH
REVEAL HER SPECIAL STATUS
WITHIN THE GROUP.

(mystical music plays)
A close-up shot shows tattoos on the mummy’s fingers.

Amanda continues SHE'S COVERED IN THESE MYSTICAL
CREATURES THAT GO ALL THE WAY
DOWN BOTH ARMS, DOWN TO HER
FINGERTIPS.
SHE HAD, ON HER LEFT SHOULDER,
THIS LARGE TATTOO OF A DEER,
WHOSE ANTLERS MORPHED INTO
BIRDS AND GRIFFINS.
AND THEN BELOW THAT WAS A
PANTHER NEXT TO A RAM, THE
PREDATOR AND THE PREY COMBINED
TOGETHER.

White animated tattoos appear next to the mummy.

Amanda continues WE DO KNOW THAT THE DEER
REPRESENTED THE SACRED
FEMININE.
IT WAS THE ONE ANIMAL THAT
COULD PASS FROM THE EARTH TO
THE SPIRITUAL WORLD AND BACK
AGAIN, AND IT ALSO HAD
REGENERATIVE POWERS.
TODAY, THE PEOPLE OF THE ALTAI
BELIEVE THAT HER TATTOOS
CONTAIN A CODED MESSAGE THAT
WILL ONE DAY BE REVEALED TO
THEM.
AND IF SHE WAS ONCE A SHAMAN TO
THE PAZYRYKS AND PLAYED A VITAL
ROLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY, TODAY
SHE'S STILL PLAYING THAT ROLE
FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE ALTAI.

A wide river flows by tree-covered mountains.

Amanda says THE NOMADS ARE OFTEN WRITTEN
OUT OF HISTORY AS BEING
ILLITERATE AND UNIMPORTANT, BUT
I BELIEVE THEY LEFT A LEGACY
THAT HAS PROVED TO BE
EXCEPTIONALLY POWERFUL AND LONG
LASTING.
THE FIRST WAS THE MARSHALLING
OF AN ECONOMY BETWEEN EAST AND
WEST THAT CAME TO BE KNOWN AS
THE SILK ROAD.
BUT SECOND AND EQUALLY
IMPORTANT WAS THE ACTIVE ROLES
OF WOMEN THAT MADE THE NOMADS
THE GREAT OTHER IN ANCIENT
CULTURE, AND WHICH CULMINATED
WITH THE MONGOL LEADER GENGHIS
KHAN PUTTING HIS DAUGHTERS IN
CHARGE OF THE WORLD'S LARGEST
EVER EMPIRE.

Two girls take cows to graze.

Amanda continues AND OF ALL THE SYMBOLS THAT
ILLUSTRATE NOMADIC WOMEN'S
STATUS, THE HAT IS ONE OF THE
MOST POTENT, REMNANTS OF WHICH
HAVE BEEN FOUND IN HUNDREDS OF
NOMADIC GRAVES.
ADORNED WITH GOLD AND PRECIOUS
STONES, THESE HATS ARE STILL
USED ACROSS THE STEPPE TODAY AS
A PORTABLE BANK ACCOUNT
CONTROLLED BY WOMEN AND PASSED
DOWN FROM MOTHER TO DAUGHTER.

A local middle-aged woman wearing a blue and golden vest and a fur hat shows an old picture of woman wearing a tall traditional hat.

Amanda continues IT'S MORE THAN JUST A PIECE OF
FABRIC; IT HAS IMMENSE POWER.
LIKE THE VEIL, IT DENOTED A
WOMAN'S WEALTH AND STATUS.
BUT IN THIS CASE, IT WASN'T
ABOUT MODESTY OR CHASTITY.
IT WAS ABOUT A WOMAN'S POWER
AND AGENCY.
IN OTHER WORDS, IT WAS ABOUT
HOW A WOMAN WAS PERCEIVED, AND
HOW SHE PERCEIVED HERSELF.
AS IS SO OFTEN THE CASE IN THIS
STORY, A REACTION AGAINST
NOMADIC LIFE LED TO A RADICAL
REDEFINITION OF WOMEN'S PLACE
IN THE WORLD.

Tourist visit The Parthenon.

Amanda says BY THE 6TH CENTURY BC, THE
DOMINANT FORCES IN THE NEAR
EAST WERE PERSIA AND THE
CITY-STATES OF ANCIENT GREECE.
AND IF PERSIA INCORPORATED BOTH
THE SYRIAN AND NOMADIC
INFLUENCES INTO ITS EMPIRE, THE
GREEKS - IN PARTICULAR, ATHENS
WOULD DEFINE THEIR IDENTITY
IN OPPOSITION TO THEIR
BARBARIAN NEIGHBOURS, WITH
DESTRUCTIVE CONSEQUENCES FOR
WOMEN.

The animated map appears. A red area reads "Persian Empire." Then, other multi-coloured areas read "Macedon, Thessaly, Thebes, Sparta, Athens."

The caption changes to "The Parthenon, Athens."

Amanda walks towards The Parthenon.

She continues STANDING AT THE CENTRE OF
ATHENS, A SYMBOL OF EVERYTHING
IT STOOD FOR WAS ITS MOST
FAMOUS BUILDING, THE PARTHENON.
BUILT BY THE MILITARY LEADER
PERICLES TO CELEBRATE THEIR
VICTORY AGAINST THE PERSIANS,
IT WAS A REMINDER TO THE
ATHENIANS ABOUT WHO THEY WERE
AND WHY THEY WERE SO SPECIAL.
AND EACH OF ITS SIDES TELLS A
FOUNDING MYTH OF THE CITY.
BEHIND ME, ON THE EAST, ARE THE
12 GODS OF MOUNT OLYMPUS,
FIGHTING THE GIANTS AND
ESTABLISHING ONCE AND FOR ALL
THEIR CLAIM TO POWER.
BUT ON THE SOUTH SIDE, THE LONG
SIDE, THAT SHOWED KING THESEUS
FIGHTING THE CENTAURS.
THESE WERE THE MYTHICAL HALF
MEN, HALF BEAST.
AND HERE, THE CENTAURS ARE A
STAND IN FOR THE BARBARIANS WHO
LIVED TO THE NORTH, BEYOND THE
BLACK SEA.
BUT, TO MY MIND, WHAT'S THE
MOST INTERESTING AND REALLY THE
MOST REVEALING ABOUT THE
ATHENIANS THEMSELVES IS WHAT'S
DEPICTED ON THE OTHER SIDE, THE
WEST, THE SIDE THAT FACES THE
SETTING SUN.

Scaffolds cover a side of The Parthenon.

She continues BECAUSE HERE YOU HAVE THE
GREEKS FIGHTING THESE WILD
WARRIOR WOMEN, AMAZONS.
AND ALTHOUGH THE FIGHTING IS
DEADLY AND VIOLENT, IT'S CLEAR
THAT THE AMAZONS ARE NO MATCH
FOR THE NOBLE GREEK MALE.
THE GREEK FASCINATION WITH THE
AMAZON MYTH, ONE INFORMED BY
THE NOMADIC WOMEN OF THE
STEPPE, REVEALS THE DEEP
PARANOIA OF ATHENIAN SOCIETY.
INDEPENDENT AND FREE, THE
AMAZONS WERE THE ANTITHESIS OF
GREEK IDEAS OF A SOCIAL ORDER
AND CITIZENSHIP.
SLAIN AND SUBJUGATED, THEY ARE
SYMBOLS OF THE TRIUMPH OF
CIVILIZATION - THIS TIME, GREEK
CIVILIZATION - OVER BARBARIAN
MONSTROSITY.

Fast clips show sculptures and carved stone frescos.

Amanda continues TODAY, THE PARTHENON ITSELF
REPRESENTS DEMOCRACY.
BUT ATHENIAN DEMOCRACY WASN'T
UNIVERSAL; IT WAS ONLY OPEN TO
MEN.
ONLY THEY COULD BE CITIZENS OF
THE POLIS, THE STATE.
AND WHAT WAS LEFT TO WOMEN WAS
SERVING THE OIKOS, THE
HOUSEHOLD.
THEY WERE BARRED FROM THE LAW,
FROM THE ECONOMY, FROM
POLITICS, EVEN FROM MINGLING IN
PLACES WHERE CITIZENS CONDUCTED
THEIR BUSINESS.
THEY COULDN'T BE BOUGHT,
COULDN'T BE SOLD, BUT THEY DID
SPEND THEIR ENTIRE LIFE UNDER
THE LEGAL GUARDIANSHIP OF THEIR
NEAREST MALE RELATIVE.
WHEN THEY WERE 14, THIS CHANGED
FROM BEING THEIR FATHERS TO
THEIR HUSBANDS.
AND ONLY HE COULD REPRESENT
THEM IN PUBLIC OUTSIDE THE
HOME.
ALL THIS BEGS THE QUESTION,
WHAT DID WOMEN THEMSELVES FEEL
ABOUT THEIR STATUS?
WERE THEY HAPPY OR WERE THEY
ANGRY?
WERE THEY HELD IN CONTEMPT, OR
WERE THEY HONOURED AS MOTHERS
AND WIVES?
THE ANSWER TO ALL THIS, I
THINK, SIMPLY LIES IN THEIR
SILENCE.
THE ATHENIANS' OBSESSIVE,
INWARD-LOOKING CULTURE, THEIR
FIXATION WITH MALE HONOUR AND
RACIAL PURITY, MEANT THAT ITS
WOMEN WERE SO CONTROLLED THAT
THEY ARE ALMOST TOTALLY ABSENT
FROM THE PUBLIC RECORD.
AND THAT ABSENCE HIGHLIGHTS A
STRIKING PARADOX IN GREEK
CULTURE.
FROM THE GODDESSES ATHENA TO
APHRODITE, THERE IS NO OTHER
CIVILIZATION IN THE ANCIENT
WORLD THAT GAVE IMAGES OF
FEMALE POWER SUCH A CENTRAL
ROLE, AND YET, AT THE SAME
TIME, SO RUTHLESSLY EXCLUDED
REAL WOMEN FROM PUBLIC LIFE.
AS EVIDENCED BY THEIR
TOMBSTONES, IDENTIKIT IMAGES OF
FEMALE MODESTY, WHAT WAS
DEMANDED FROM ATHENIAN WOMEN
WAS THEIR OBEDIENCE, CHASTITY,
AND ABOVE ALL, SONS TO
PERPETUATE THE FAMILY LINE.

Amanda looks at Greek statues in a museum.

She continues IF IT'S REALLY DIFFICULT TO
FIND THE REAL FLESH AND BLOOD
WOMEN HERE, IT'S BECAUSE
ACTUALLY WE WEREN'T MEANT TO.
THAT WASN'T THE POINT OF THE
TOMBSTONES.
THEY WERE MADE TO PROJECT
CERTAIN IDEALS, SUCH AS WEALTH,
STATUS, HONOUR.
IN OTHER WORDS, IT WAS ABOUT
CITIZENSHIP AND THE FAMILY WITH
A CAPITAL F.
WHERE ATHENIAN WOMEN DID HAVE A
COLLECTIVE VOICE WAS IN THE
RELIGIOUS RITUALS OF THE CITY,
FROM WEDDINGS AND CHILDBIRTH TO
FUNERALS AND FESTIVALS.
ARGUABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT WAS
THE THESMOPHORIA, THE FESTIVAL
TO DEMETER, THE GREEK GODDESS
OF FERTILITY AND AGRICULTURE,
WHICH TOOK PLACE EVERY AUTUMN
AT THE TIME OF THE YEARLY
SOWING.
THE LOCATION WAS DEEPLY
SIGNIFICANT.

Amanda walks among trees on a sunny day.

She continues MUCH LIKE CARNIVAL TODAY, THE
WORLD WAS TURNED UPSIDE DOWN,
FOR ATHENS HANDED OVER THE
MEETING PLACE OF THE DEMOCRATIC
ASSEMBLY, THE SEAT OF MALE
POWER, TO ITS WOMEN FOR THREE
DAYS.
THE BEST WAY OF DESCRIBING THE
THESMOPHORIA IS CONTROLLED
MADNESS.
ON THE FIRST DAY, KNOWN AS THE
ANODOS, WHICH MEANS SETTING UP,
THEY CLIMBED THE STEPS FROM THE
AGORA UP HERE, TO PNYX HILL,
WHERE THEY PITCHED THEIR TENTS
THROUGHOUT THE STONES.
AND THEN, THEY ELECTED TWO
WOMEN TO BE THE LEADERS.
AND THIS WAS A VERY SHOCKING
ACT, BECAUSE THEY WERE
RECREATING THE POLIS FOR
THEMSELVES.
THEN ON THE SECOND DAY, KNOWN
AS THE NESTEIA - THAT MEANS THE
FASTING - THERE WERE SPECIALLY
APPOINTED WOMEN KNOWN AS
BAILERS.
AND THEY WENT INTO THE
UNDERGROUND CAVERNS WHERE THEY
COLLECTED PIGLETS - WELL, DEAD
PIGLETS - BECAUSE THEIR BODIES
WERE SAID TO SYMBOLIZE FEMALE
GENITALIA.
AND THEN THEY COLLECTED CAKES
IN THE SHAPE OF PHALLUSES AND
SNAKES.
AND THEN IN THE AFTERNOON, THE
WOMEN SHOUTED OBSCENITIES AND
ANYTHING RUDE THAT CAME INTO
THEIR MIND.
THE THIRD DAY, KNOWN AS THE
KALLIGENEIA, WHICH MEANS
BEAUTIFUL BIRTH, THE WOMEN
PRAYED FOR CHILDREN AND CROPS.

Old vases depict the actions decribed.

She continues WHAT THIS ALL SIGNIFIED WAS
TWOFOLD.
FIRST OF ALL, IT WAS AN ANCIENT
FERTILITY RITE GOING BACK
THOUSANDS OF YEARS, AND IT WAS
LINKING FEMALE FERTILITY WITH
DIVINE MADNESS.
BUT SECOND, AND EQUALLY
IMPORTANT, WAS THE ELEMENT OF
CONTROL.
BECAUSE HERE WOMEN'S SEXUALITY
WAS BEING HARNESSED BY THE
STATE IN THE SERVICE OF THE
STATE.
AND EVEN THOUGH WOMEN WERE
BEING UNLEASHED AND TOLD TO BE
FREE IN THEMSELVES, ACTUALLY,
THEY WERE ACTING OUT THE WISHES
OF THE MALE POLIS.

(piano music plays)

Amanda says THE MOST STRIKING SYMBOL OF
MALE CONTROL WAS ONCE AGAIN A
PIECE OF FABRIC.
FOR WHAT MAY COME AS A SURPRISE
IS THAT ATHENS ADOPTED THE
CUSTOM OF VEILING FROM ANCIENT
ASSYRIA, AND IT WOULD BE FROM
HERE THAT IT WOULD LATER END UP
IN ROME, BYZANTIUM, AND
CHRISTIANITY.
FORMERLY THE RIGHT OF ROYAL
WOMEN, BY THE 5TH CENTURY BC,
THE WIFE OF ALMOST EVERY
CITIZEN WORE A VEIL.
AGAIN, IT WAS A WAY OF MAKING
THE STATUS OF WOMEN MORE
DISCERNIBLE, SO AS TO BETTER
REGULATE THEM.

Evgenia Dimitropoulou holds a picture of a Greek female statue. She is in her twenties with brown hair in a low bun. She wears a beige dress and a veil.

The caption changes to "Evgenia Dimitropoulou. Classical Actress."

Evgenia says THERE'S NO EQUALITY BETWEEN A
MAN AND A WOMAN.
A WOMAN IS ALWAYS DOWN FROM A
MAN.
WOMEN ARE SOMETHING LIKE
PROPERTY FOR A MAN, SO HE HAS
TO HAVE HIS WIFE ONLY FOR
HIMSELF AND IN THE HOUSE.
HE CAN GO AWAY AND GO ACROSS
THE STREET AS HE IS, BUT A
WOMAN COULD NOT DO THAT.
IT'S SURPRISING THAT WE ARE IN
THE COUNTRY THAT GAVE BIRTH TO
THE DEMOCRACY, BUT MODERN WOMEN
IN GREECE DIDN'T HAVE THE
OPPORTUNITY TO VOTE UNTIL 1952.
THAT WAS THE FIRST TIME THAT
THEY HAD THE RIGHT TO VOTE.

Amanda says THE BEST EVIDENCE
FOR HOW WIDESPREAD VEILING WAS
IN ANCIENT GREECE IS A
COLLECTION OF VOTIVE STATUES
CALLED TANAGRAS, NOW HOUSED IN
THE LOUVRE MUSEUM IN PARIS.
FOUND IN SACRED SHRINES, THEY
DEPICT WOMEN IN EVERYDAY
COSTUME, AND THEY REVEAL THE
WIDE VARIETY OF VEILS WORN
OUTSIDE THE HOME.
THE MOST COMMON WAS THE
HIMATION SHAWL, WHICH COULD BE
PULLED OVER THE HEAD TO COVER
THEIR HAIR.
THERE ARE PHAROS VEILS, BOTH
COVERING THE HAIR AS WELL AS
THE LOWER FACE.
BUT THE MOST STRIKING IS THE
TEGIDION, A FULL-FACE VEIL WITH
EYE HOLES, WHICH LITERALLY
MEANT LITTLE ROOF, A SYMBOL OF
THE MALE HOUSE UNDER WHICH
MARRIED WOMEN AND DAUGHTERS
WERE PROTECTED.
LIKE IN ANCIENT ASSYRIA, THE
VEIL WAS A MARKER OF CLASS, BUT
IN GREECE, IT EMBRACED
SOMETHING MUCH DARKER: A DEEP
PHOBIA OF THE FEMALE BODY, AND
THE IDEA THAT WOMEN'S
INFERIORITY WASN'T MANMADE BUT
ROOTED IN NATURE.

Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones holds a picture of a Greek female marble bust. Lloyd is in his mid-forties, clean-shaven with gray hair. He wears a gray shirt and matching scarf.

Lloyd says THE WOMEN OF ATHENS HAD
PROBABLY THE WORST CONDITIONS
OF ANY WOMAN IN THE ANCIENT
WORLD.

The caption changes to "Doctor Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones. Edinburgh University."

Lloyd continues AND I WOULD SAY THAT WOMEN'S
LOT IN ANCIENT ATHENS WAS
CLOSER TO A WOMAN'S LOT IN
AFGHANISTAN AND AT THE HEIGHT
OF TALIBAN RULE THAN ANYTHING
ELSE.

Amanda says LLOYD
LLEWELLYN-JONES IS ONE OF THE
WORLD'S LEADING SCHOLARS OF
ANCIENT GREECE.
HE BELIEVES THAT ITS IDEAS
ABOUT THE NATURE OF WOMEN WERE
CENTRAL TO THE MYTHS THAT
UNDERPINNED GREEK IDENTITY.

Amanda and Lloyd sit in a library.

Lloyd says SO, WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS A TEXT
BY HESIOD, WHO WAS WRITING IN
ABOUT THE 7TH CENTURY BCE.
HE WRITES TWO TEXTS, ONE CALLED
THE THEOGONY, AND ANOTHER
CALLED THE WORKS AND DAYS, IN
WHICH HE DEALS WITH THE SAME
MYTH.
AND THIS IS THE CREATION OF THE
FIRST WOMAN, THE GREEK
EQUIVALENT OF THE BIBLICAL EVE,
IF YOU LIKE.
AND HER NAME, OF COURSE, IS
PANDORA.
AND WE KNOW HER BECAUSE SHE'S
SENT DOWN AS A PUNISHMENT FOR
MANKIND.
NOW, IF WE LOOK AT THE TEXT,
THERE'S SOME REALLY INTERESTING
THINGS THAT WE CAN PICK OUT
FROM WHAT HESIOD IS TRYING TO
TELL US HERE.
THE FIRST IS WHAT HE CALLS
PANDORA WHEN WE'RE FIRST
INTRODUCED TO HER.
HESIOD IS, IN FACT, ACTUALLY
CALLING HER GENOS GYNAIKON, THE
FIRST OF THE RACE OR THE
SPECIES, THE FIRST OF THE
SPECIES OF WOMEN.
SO, IN OTHER WORDS, WHAT WE
HAVE HERE, FUNDAMENTALLY, IN A
7TH CENTURY TEXT, WHICH IS
PROBABLY REFLECTING A MUCH
EARLIER IDEA, IS THAT WOMEN ARE
A SEPARATE SPECIES FROM MEN.
NOW, IN THE MYTH, OF COURSE, IN
OUR ENGLISH IDEA OF IT, SHE
COMES ARMED WITH THIS BOX.

Amanda says BUT IT'S NOT A BOX,
REALLY.

Amanda smiles.

Lloyd says NO, YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.
WHAT SHE COMES WITH IS A
PITHOS.
AND A PITHOS IS THE GREEK WORD
FOR A JAR.
NO, THE GREEKS HAD A THOUGHT
THAT A WOMAN'S WOMB WAS SHAPED
LIKE A PITHOS.
SO REALLY, WHAT HESIOD IS
TALKING ABOUT HERE IS PANDORA,
BEING MADE THE FIRST WOMAN,
COMES WITH THE FIRST WOMB.
AND WHEN, OF COURSE, INEVITABLY
THAT WOMB GETS OPENED AND THE
OPENING, OF COURSE, IS THROUGH
INTERCOURSE, WHAT FLOWS OUT IS
ALL THE EVILS OF THE WORLD.

Amanda says AND THEIR SEXUALITY,
THOUGH, IS VERY MUCH BOUND UP
WITH OPENINGS AND CLOSINGS.

Lloyd says COMPLETELY, AND LEAKAGE, THE
IDEA THAT WOMEN ARE MIASMIC
THROUGH MENSTRUATION AND SO
FORTH.
AND THEREFORE, THIS UNBOUNDED
WOMAN, WITH HER APPETITES, HER
SEXUALITY, NEEDS TO BE BOUND.
AND THAT ALL BECOMES APPARENT
IN THE USE OF THE VEIL IN THE
ANCIENT GREEK WORLD.

(music plays)

Amanda says IF THE VEIL WAS A
WAY OF DRAWING A CURTAIN ON
WHAT THE GREEKS FOUND
VISCERALLY UPSETTING, THEN IT
WAS ARISTOTLE WHO PROVIDED THE
MOST DESTRUCTIVE RATIONALE FOR
IT.
FOR ALONGSIDE THE FOUNDATIONS
OF WESTERN PHILOSOPHY, HE
DEVELOPED DEEPLY INCORRECT
IDEAS ABOUT THE FEMALE BODY
THAT WOULD BE JUST AS
INFLUENTIAL.

Lloyd says NOW, HE THOUGHT OF WOMEN AS
BEING SOMETHING DIFFERENT.
HE DIDN'T SEE THEM AS A
DIFFERENT SPECIES.

Amanda says NO, THEY WERE
SUB-MALE.

Lloyd says THAT'S RIGHT, EXACTLY.
SO, BASICALLY, THEY ARE
IMPERFECT MEN; THEY HAVEN'T
QUITE REACHED PERFECTION YET,
BECAUSE THEY HAVEN'T HAD SEMEN
TO CREATE WHAT IS THE ESSENCE
OF MAN.
AND THAT IS REALLY THE MOST
INFLUENTIAL THOUGHT TO BE
GARNISHED IN THE GREEK WORLD,
WHICH GOES DOWN INTO THE
CLASSICAL ARABIC TRADITIONS,
AND CONSEQUENTLY THEN INTO
CHRISTIAN AND MEDIEVAL
TRADITIONS AS WELL.

Amanda says BUT THIS LINK ALSO
SEEMS TO BE A JUSTIFICATION FOR
THE IDEA THAT WOMEN ARE
INCAPABLE OF REASON.

Lloyd says YES, ABSOLUTELY.
SO, MEN IN THE GREEK WORLD ARE
NATURALLY SOPHROSYNE, WHICH
MEANS THEY HAVE LIMITS, THEY
KNOW THEIR RATIONALITIES, THEY
KNOW THEIR AGENDA.
WOMEN HAVE NO SUCH THING, AND
THEREFORE THEY HAVE TO BE
CONTROLLED BY MEN ALL THE TIME.

Amanda says AND IT'S A
JUSTIFICATION FOR DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE, TOO.
THEY MUST BE CHASTISED; IT'S
THE ONLY INSTRUCTION THEY KNOW.

Lloyd says IT ALL PLAYS ON THE IDEA OF THE
HONOUR-SHAME NEXUS.
IT'S SO IMPORTANT FOR THEM.
THE HONOUR OF A HOUSEHOLD IS
LOCATED WITHIN THE BODY OF THE
FEMALE.
AND SO, ANY TRANSGRESSION ON
THE PART OF THAT FEMALE -
SPEAKING OUT TOO LOUDLY IN
PUBLIC, LAUGHING TOO MUCH,
OBVIOUSLY EXPOSING THE BODY IN
ANY WAY - IS A TRANSGRESSION OF
THAT HONOUR OF THE HOUSEHOLD,
AND THEREFORE IS DIRECTED ONTO
THE MEN OF THAT HOUSEHOLD.

(classical music plays)

Amanda says IF THIS IS ONE OF
THE LEAST ACKNOWLEDGED LEGACIES
THE GREEKS HAVE GIVEN THE
WORLD, THE SEGREGATION OF WOMEN
FROM CIVIC LIFE WAS NOT
UNIVERSALLY PRACTICED.
THESE GLORIOUS PORTRAITS DATE
FROM ROMAN EGYPT IN THE 1ST
CENTURY AD, A PERIOD OF GREAT
CULTURAL CROSSOVER BETWEEN THE
TWO EMPIRES THAT WERE OPEN AND
OUTWARD LOOKING.

Female portraits appear on split screens.

Amanda continues BRIMMING WITH PERSONALITY, THEY
ARE EVIDENCE OF WOMEN'S SOCIAL
AND LEGAL EMANCIPATION IN
IMPERIAL ROME.
THEY'RE A WORLD AWAY FROM THE
VEILED WOMEN OF ANCIENT GREECE.
Standing in front of one of the portraits, she continues THIS HAS SUCH A FLESH AND BLOOD
FEEL.
SHE'S UNVEILED, SENSUOUS,
CONFIDENT.
WHAT THEY TELL US IS THAT EVEN
IF EARLY ROME ABSORBED GREEK
IDEALS OF FEMALE VIRTUE, THE
MORE IT GREW INTO AN IMPERIAL
POWER, THE MORE IT LOOKED TO
OTHER CIVILIZATIONS, LIKE
ANCIENT EGYPT, WHOSE IDEAS OF
CITIZENSHIP HAD ALWAYS INCLUDED
WOMEN.
AND IN THIS WORLD, WHICH HAD
EMERGED IN PARALLEL TO THE
CIVILIZATIONS OF MESOPOTAMIA
AND THEIR STARKLY GENDERED LAW
CODES, THE LEGAL STATUS OF
WOMEN WAS ALMOST IDENTICAL TO
THAT OF MEN.
AS SEEN IN ITS ART, REPLETE
WITH COUPLES LOVINGLY HOLDING
HANDS, EVEN WEARING THE SAME
CLOTHES, ANCIENT EGYPT EMBRACED
BOTH THE MASCULINE AND THE
FEMININE.
A SHARED LIFE RATHER THAN
REPRODUCTION WAS THE PURPOSE OF
MARRIAGE, AND WOMEN WERE
ALLOWED CONSIDERABLE AUTONOMY
OVER THEIR OWN LIVES.
IT MEANT THAT, WHEN ALL THE
PLANETS ALIGNED, WOMEN COULD ON
OCCASION RULE.
THE GREATEST OF EGYPT'S SIX
KNOWN RULING QUEENS WAS
HATSHEPSUT.

A young woman wearing a purple veil holds a picture of an ancient Egyptian queen.

The caption changes to "Hatshepsut. 1508-1458 B.C."

Amanda continues SHE CAME TO POWER IN THE 15TH
CENTURY BC AS THE REGENT FOR
HER STEPSON THUTMOSE THE THIRD, WHO
WAS JUST A BABY.
BUT IT WAS HOW SHE RULED FOR
OVER TWO DECADES THAT
DEMONSTRATES HER GENIUS FOR
GOVERNMENT.
HATSHEPSUT APPROPRIATED FOR
HERSELF THE RELIGIOUS SYMBOLS
OF KINGSHIP.
FAMOUSLY, HER STATUES DEPICT
HER WEARING THE DIVINE
PHARAONIC BEARD.
BUT JUST AS IMPORTANT WAS HOW
SHE CONCENTRATED ON WHAT EGYPT
DID BEST: BUILDING AND TRADE.
SHE ORGANIZED THE LARGEST EVER
TRADE MISSION IN HER COUNTRY'S
HISTORY TO THE LAND OF PUNT.
HER LEGACY WAS PEACE AND
PROSPERITY.
BUT EVEN IN EGYPT, THERE'S A
STING IN THE TAIL.
WE DON'T KNOW WHY, BUT AFTER
HER DEATH, THE NEXT PHARAOH
LITERALLY DEFACED HATSHEPSUT
FROM THE PUBLIC RECORD.
IN A SENSE, SHE REPRESENTS THE
FATE OF SO MANY WOMEN - NOT
JUST IN THE ANCIENT WORLD, BUT
THROUGHOUT ALL OF HISTORY.
THE STORY OF CIVILIZATION HAS
LARGELY BEEN WRITTEN AS THE
TRIUMPH OF HUMANITY, AND IT HAS
GIVEN US EXTRAORDINARY
ADVANCES: CODES OF LAW AND
COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND ART.
BUT IF THE STORY OF WOMEN IS
PUT BACK INTO HISTORY, THE
UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTH IS THAT ITS
BENEFITS HAVE BEEN AMBIGUOUS,
FOR I BELIEVE THAT PART OF WHAT
IT MEANT TO BE CIVILIZED ALSO
MEANT THE REGULATION AND
CONTROL OF WOMEN, WHICH VARIED
ACCORDING TO THE WORLDS IN
WHICH THEY LIVED.
LOOKING AT THE VARIETY OF
WOMEN'S EXPERIENCES IN THE
ANCIENT WORLD - FROM
RESTRICTIVE ASSYRIA TO TOLERANT
EGYPT, FROM THE EQUALITY OF THE
NOMADS TO THE NADIR OF
ANCIENT GREECE - IT'S CLEAR
WHY THE HISTORY OF WOMEN HAS
NEVER BEEN A SIMPLE STORY OF
DARKNESS TO LIGHT.

Amanda stands back at Trafalgar Square.

Amanda says CIVILIZATION AND PATRIARCHY
WENT TOGETHER HAND IN HAND, BUT
IT WASN'T A FIXED RELATIONSHIP.
THERE WERE POWERFUL WOMEN IN
THE ANCIENT WORLD WHO HAD A
VOICE AND AN IMPACT ON THEIR
SOCIETIES.
BUT IT ALSO BEQUEATHED,
PARTICULARLY THE GREEKS, DEEPLY
PEJORATIVE NOTIONS ABOUT THE
NATURE OF WOMEN - ABOUT THEIR
SEXUALITY, THEIR REASON, AND
THEIR CAPABILITIES - THAT
SURVIVE TO THIS DAY.
ONE SET OF RULES WAS
ESTABLISHED FOR MEN AND ANOTHER
FOR WOMEN, DENYING THEM THEIR
AUTONOMY OVER THEIR BODIES,
THEIR AGENCY OVER THEIR
ACTIONS, AND THEIR AUTHORITY
OVER THEIR DECISIONS.
AND THAT SAME INEQUALITY WOULD
DETERMINE THE SHAPE OF WOMEN'S
LIVES IN THE NEXT ASIAN CHAPTER
OF THE HISTORY OF WOMEN.

(music plays)

The end credits roll.

Written and Presented by Doctor Amanda Foreman.

Production Executive, Samantha Chambers.

Film Editor, Stuart Davidson.

Producer and Director, Hugo MacGregor.

Logo: BBC, Silver River, The Open University.

Copyright 2015, Silver River Productions Ltd.

Watch: Ep. 1 - Civilization