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Idyllic childhood or practical placement: Examining children's homes using GIS, remote sensing, and landscape archaeology

Author(s): Paulina Przystupa

Year: 2015

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The late 19th century represents a turning point in Western beliefs about childhood. These new cultural beliefs redefined childhood as an innocent stage in the human life cycle and encouraged particular environments for raising children. Rural areas encouraged learning and exercise, sheltering children from the dangers of the polluted urban environment. However, this ideology contradicted the economic realities of the late 19th century. Other archaeologists have examined this tension between the ideology and reality of childhood during this time by examining artifacts excavated from household contexts. Interestingly, children’s homes, which increased in use during this time and cared for children whose parents could not, have rarely been investigated. This poster examines how closely children’s homes were able to adhere to this new concept of childhood by using landscape archaeology theory, GIS, and remote sensing to investigate America’s historical children’s homes within their environmental and anthropogenic context. Since humans alter their landscape to reflect their culture, I hypothesize that institutions built earlier will be placed in environments that embodied the practical nature of children’s homes, while later children’s homes will choose landscapes that reflect this new ideology of childhood.

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Idyllic childhood or practical placement: Examining children's homes using GIS, remote sensing, and landscape archaeology. Paulina Przystupa. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397950)


Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America