Activist Group Tells Archaeologists Not to Assume Gender of Ancient Skeletons

Self-declared “anarchist archaeologists” are warning archaeologists not to assume the gender or race of ancient skeletons because they see the categorization of sᴇxes as discriminatory to the dead and as enhancing “white supremacy.”

Wokeology and The Black Trowel Collective


Many people use the word “woke” without knowing what the word actually means. Added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2017, this African American vernacular English word describes someone who is sensitive or alert to issues of race and social justice . But has it gone too far?

So-called “trendy academics” have been labelling ancient human remains as non-binary or gender neutral because they say DNA only determines biological sᴇx but not gender.

The controversy has been raised by The Black Trowel Collective of multiethnic and “anarchist” archaeologists based on the notion that attributing sᴇx and race to skeletons is fraught with issues, according to a report in the Daily Mail .

Using Archaeology to Explore the Complexity of sᴇx and Gender

The word “woke” is being used this week in an archaeological context because the Daily Mail has claimed that a group of activists want the scientific community to stop categorizing human remains as either male or female because scientists “cannot be sure” which gender people identified themselves with when they were alive.

Writing on anthro{dendum} in August 2021, the team of ‘woke’ archaeologists warned against “biological essentialism” when it comes to categorizing ancient human remains.


In their statement they asked professionals to be “wary of projecting our modern sᴇx and gender identity categories onto past individuals… as this leaves aside the frequently contextual and contingent nature of gender variation.”

Following this line of thought they argued that this kind of “anti-trans violence” shares a common origin with “white supremacist ideals.”

The Expanding List of White Supremacist Indicators

Critics of the latest movement, however, told the Daily Mail that such ridiculous demands would “lead to a rewriting of history and imposing current ideology ‘where it doesn’t belong’.”

Nevertheless, so called “trendy academics” are increasingly labelling skeletons as “nonbinary” or “gender-neutral,” even when their anatomical features are clearly male or female.

Show Us the sᴇxual Middle Ground?


In their statement published on anthro{dendum}, the Black Trowel Collective argued that throughout history human gender was “highly variable.” Furthermore, they explained that human beings have historically identified with many genders beyond “modern masculine and feminine binaries.”

Within the cosmology of most indigenous cultures, however, throughout all of the mountains, hills, rivers and lagoons, every living being was perceived as either feminine or masculine.

While Native American cultures have people who identified as “ Two Spirit ,” these two spirits are male and female, rather than a “nonbinary” entity. They were, in fact, exceptionally binary spirits representing the two sᴇxes.

According to Jeremy Black, professor emeritus of the University of Exeter, the proposed changes in archaeology are utterly “absurd.” He added that the two sᴇxes were “key motors in history.”

Dr. Black is supported by Professor Frank Furedi, emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent, who said “historical fact was becoming the latest ‘frontier’ for advocates of radical gender ideology.”

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