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women and chores

23 May 2015

At http://westerndigs.org/dice-gaming-utah-cave-prehistoric-gambling/ … I don't suppose they were gambling for money – but may be for their shirts (or was it who was skinning the rabbit).

The excellent web site Western Digs has come up with another bit of useful analysis following the fantastic discovery from a cave in Utah (on the

shore of the Great Salt Lake). Hundreds of dice, hoops, carved sticks and other trinkets used in Native American games of chance and skill have been found. They say there is up to 10,000 of such bits and pieces, items used in what looks like a gambling den (and not just a cave). It seems the cave may well have been somewhat addictive – like a modern computer game, or minecraft. Since the 1930s the same cave has yielded piles of butchered bison and elk bones and hundreds of moccasins (mainly of sizes suitable for children) – all left behind after a relatively short period of occupation in the 13th century AD.

The same people, known as the Promontory Culture, appear to have migrated from northern Canada – and moved as far south as the American South West (Arizona and New Mexico) as a result of environmental factors (it is thought). Utah was enroute.

The dice, it is suggested, was the preoccupation of female members of the tribe, akin to drawing straws to decide who was going to do particular chores. That may be so – but which chores did they not like doing?

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