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by Archaeology Newsroom

Steps in a man’s life

The popular painting of the steps in a man’s life was to be found mainly in tavernas and in this painting we find condensed the entire ideology of a male-orientated society. At the base of the steps, in the centre of the picture, Eve is shown reminding us of her catastrophic role. Only in two of the nine steps in a man’s life is he accompanied by a woman whether his wife or mother. Apart from the contrast shown between man and woman, there are more contrasting pairs in the picture. There is a youth and an elderly man, a productive and non-productive man. This characteristic of being useful in life is what determines the peak of a man’s life. He stands on the highest step at the age of about 40 or 50 years old, at which age he is at the height of his professional powers.