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"Children in a ragged state": Seeking a bioarchaeological narrative of childhood in Ireland during the Great Famine (1845–52)

Author(s): Jonny Geber

Year: 2016

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Summary

More than half of all victims of the Great Famine in Ireland from 1845 to 1852 were children, but despite this fact relatively little attention, amongst a vast body of famine research undertaken to date, has been undertaken to explore their experiences and what realities they endured during this period. Following the archaeological discovery and bioarchaeological study of a large famine-period mass burial ground adjacent to the former workhouse in Kilkenny City, the physical experience of this calamity for over 500 children that ultimately succumbed to malnutrition and infectious disease has become evident. The experience of poverty, famine and institutionalisation can be discerned from skeletal markers in their bones, and when interpreted in their historical and cultural context they enable a unique insight into the reality of growing up as a child in Ireland during one of the worst subsistence crises in human history.


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Cite this Record

"Children in a ragged state": Seeking a bioarchaeological narrative of childhood in Ireland during the Great Famine (1845–52). Jonny Geber. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403755)


Keywords

General
childhood famine Ireland

Geographic Keywords
Europe


Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

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