Women's Work

Women's Work : The First 20,000 Years Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times

4.34 (1,802 ratings by Goodreads)
4.34 (1,802 ratings by Goodreads)
Free delivery worldwide Expected delivery to the United States in 20-23 business days.

Not ordering to the United States? Click here.
May not be delivered to the United States by Christmas May not be delivered to the United States by Christmas


New discoveries about the textile arts reveal women's unexpectedly influential role in ancient societies.

Twenty thousand years ago, women were making and wearing the first clothing created from spun fibers. In fact, right up to the Industrial Revolution the fiber arts were an enormous economic force, belonging primarily to women.

Despite the great toil required in making cloth and clothing, most books on ancient history and economics have no information on them. Much of this gap results from the extreme perishability of what women produced, but it seems clear that until now descriptions of prehistoric and early historic cultures have omitted virtually half the picture.

Elizabeth Wayland Barber has drawn from data gathered by the most sophisticated new archaeological methods-methods she herself helped to fashion. In a "brilliantly original book" (Katha Pollitt, Washington Post Book World), she argues that women were a powerful economic force in the ancient world, with their own industry: fabric.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 140 x 211 x 23mm | 264g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • photographs, drawings
  • 0393313484
  • 9780393313482
  • 22,916

Review quote

"Elizabeth Barber is as knowing and perceptive as any archaeologist-author in sight...Her topic is wonderfully fresh." -- Scientific American
show more

About Elizabeth Wayland Barber

Elizabeth Wayland Barber is the author of Women's Work, The Dancing Goddesses, and The Mummies of UErumchi. Professor emerita of archaeology and linguistics at Occidental College, she lives in California.
show more

Rating details

1,802 ratings
4.34 out of 5 stars
5 51% (916)
4 35% (639)
3 12% (208)
2 2% (29)
1 1% (10)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X