Medieval Childhood: Archaeological Approaches [Paperback]

D. M. Hadley (Editor); K.A. Hemer (Editor)

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ISBN: 9781782976981 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Volume: 3 | Year of Publication: 2014 | Language: English 160p, H240 x W170 (mm) b/w and colour illustrations



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Medieval Childhood

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The nine papers presented here set out to broaden the recent focus of archaeological evidence for medieval children and childhood and to offer new ways of exploring their lives and experiences.

The everyday use of space and changes in the layout of buildings are examined, in order to reveal how these impacted upon the daily practices and tasks of household tasks relating to the upbringing of children. Aspects of work and play are explored: how, archaeologically, we can determine whether, and in what context, children played board and dice games? How we may gain insights into the medieval countryside from the perspective of children and thus begin to understand the processes of reproduction of particular aspects of medieval society and the spaces where children’s activities occurred; and the possible role of children in the medieval pottery industry. Funerary aspects are considered: the burial of infants in early English Christian cemeteries the treatment and disposal of infants and children in the cremation ritual of early Anglo-Saxon England; and childhood, children and mobility in early medieval western Britain, especially Wales. The volume concludes with an exploration of what archaeologists can draw from other disciplines – historians, art historians, folklorists and literary scholars – and the approaches that they take to the study of childhood and thus the enhancement of our knowledge of medieval society in general.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: archaeological approaches to medieval childhood, c. 500-1500 – D. M. Hadley and K. A. Hemer
2. Archaeology of the medieval family – Sally Crawford
3. ‘Merely players’? Playtime, material culture and medieval childhood – Mark A. Hall
4. The spaces of late medieval peasant childhood: children and social reproduction – Sally Smith
5. Seeing the medieval child: evidence from household and craft – Maureen Mellor
6. Eavesdropping on short lives: Eaves-drip burial and the differential treatment of children one year of age and under in early Christian cemeteries – Elizabeth Craig-Atkins
7. Through the flames of the pyre: the continuing search for Anglo-Saxon infants and children – Kirsty E. Squires
8. Are we nearly there yet? Children and migration in early medieval western Britain – K. A. Hemer
9. Interdisciplinarity, archaeology and the study of medieval childhood – Carenza Lewis


Childhood in the Past Monograph Series

Volume 1: Childhood and Violence in the Western Tradition
Edited by Laurence Brockliss and Heather Montgomery

Volume 2: The Dark Side of childhood in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages
Edited by Katariina Mustakallio and Christian Laes

Volume 3: Medieval Childhood: archaeological approaches
Edited by D. M. Hadley and K. A. Hemer

Reviews & Quotes

"- this volume makes a significant contribution to our awareness of children in the medieval world. Its focus, however, is Britain and it is hoped that archaeological work elsewhere in Europe and beyond will be covered at some point. Nonetheless, this is a highly recommended source for students and academics alike. "
Medieval Archaeology
Medieval Archaeology

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