In any society, since civilization appeared in 4000 B.C.E. to present day, there are differences between the lifestyle of men and women. Many of these differences are justified through religion, physical ability, and life roles (such as male as hunter, female as mother). Therefore, when categorical characteristics of men and women abound we often analyze the culture that the people were/are a part of for answers as to why the variations exist. This concept applies to the Greek sculptures produced in the Archaic period. Why were the female sculptures of the Archaic period done clothed, with ornamental decoration, in an age of widespread male nudity? When 170 years later, in the Classical period, sculptures of naked women arose the situation become more perplexing.
To investigate this question, an understanding of the role of women in Greek society, during the Archaic period is necessary. If women were viewed as part of the "setting" and not so much the "scene", that could explain why replicas of women were created more as a decoration. Another explanation is the symbolism of male sculpture does not apply to women. Oftentimes, the sculptures represented athletic victors, and since women did not compete in the Olympics or any important athletic game, sculptures of female athletes would not exist. Extensive research on Greek women during 700 B.C.E. - 480 B.C.E. is necessary to answer this question.
An inevitable second question comes from the first: what change between the Archaic and Classical period in Greece explains why women became sculpted nude? The research path to answer this question is similar to the first question. Only after understanding the women's role in Archaic and Classical Greek society, will answers to the questions be possible to see. (300 words)