Wonder Woman may have roots in Ancient Persia
  • The movie Wonder Woman (2017) is set in Europe during World War One. Its successor is situated in Washington DC, 70 years later. Both films are told in flashback, where we see glimpses of young Diana Prince on her birth island of Themyscira.
  • The Amazons of Greek mythology and the real-life worrier women that let to Wonder Woman might have root in ancient Persia - modern-day Iran.


The 2,000-year-old Wonder Women who inspired the comic


The story of a race of warrior women first appeared in Greek mythology, but excavations across the north and east of the Black Sea region revealed that worrier women like the Amazons really existed.

  • In December 2019, the graves of four female warriors from the 4th Century BC Sarmatian region were found in the village of Devitsa - now Western Russia.
  • Excavations within the modern borders of Iran have revealed the existence of female warriors.
  • Experts have identified depictions of women in battle with Greek men on vases and other ceramics.
  • By the 470s, the Greeks began to refer to representations of the Persians as the Amazons.


According to Herodotus, a 5th-Century Greek writer and geographer, the Amazons maintained an idyllic all-female existence in modern-day Turkey. The women pillaged the Persian Empire and procreated with neighbouring tribes, raising the baby girls.

They met their fate in a battle against the Greeks in Thermodon. The Amazons eventually entered Scythia near the Black Sea and joined forces. Their descendants are the Sarmatians.


Besides Greece, many ancient cultures told tales of warrior women such as Persia, Egypt, Rome, Caucasus, Central Asia, Mongolia, India, and China.

In the US, the comic book character of Wonder Woman, inspired by the Amazonian warrior woman mythos, was created in 1941 by psychologist William Moulton Marston. The story goes that the Amazon Princess Diana was moulded out of clay by her mother Hippolyta and brought to life by the gods.


William Moulton Marston describes his narrative objective as "psychological propaganda for a new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world."

The birth of this feminist character happened just as the attack on Pearl Harbour brought Americans into World War Two. The conflict gave women the option to enlist, enter factories and workplaces, and building expertise in fields secured for men. After the war, most women went back to their homes, but in their hearts, the Wonder Woman had emerged and could not be repressed.


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