Two 'warrior women' from ancient Mongolia may have helped inspire the Ballad of Mulan
From Live Science:
Archaeologists in Mongolia have found the remains of two ancient women warriors, whose skeletal remains indicate that they were well practiced in archery and horseback riding.
These two women lived during the Xianbei period (A.D. 147 to 552), a period of political fragmentation and unrest that gave rise to the Ballad of Mulan, the researchers said.
Perhaps these women were so athletic because during the Xianbei period, "it may have been that women were needed to defend home and country alongside the men," said study researchers Christine Lee and Yahaira Gonzalez, bioarchaeologists at California State University, Los Angeles.
Of the two warrior women, one was older than 50 and the other was about 20 years old. It's possible they practiced archery and rode horses because these skills were needed during the political instability that following the collapse of the Han Dynasty in China in A.D. 220, Lee said.
Neither woman had signs of war trauma. This could be because both women were found in elite graves, and elite people may not have fought in battles, Lee said.
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(Image: © Christine Lee)