Scholars studying women in early China have produced many fine works that concentrate on a wide array of sources from traditionally transmitted texts. Written works transmitted from the early and mid-Eastern Zhou through the Former and Later Han provide a wide range of information about women and gender in this period. But for decades now, Chinese scholars have published a staggering array of reports on archaeological finds dating from the Neolithic period through the early Eastern Zhou that offer new insights. While posing their own forms interpretive difficulties, evidence drawn from the material remains of earlier periods is not subject to the array of anachronisms that riddle texts from the received tradition. This essay draws upon archaeological remains to explore how material culture from early China illuminates women's roles in the opening phases of Chinese civilization.