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Changing with the times: An exploration of shifting attitudes and funerary treatment of children from the Roman to early medieval period in Britain

Author(s): Kirsty Squires

Year: 2016

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Summary

Throughout Britain, archaeological cemeteries and settlements are being increasingly subjected to in-depth site analyses. Large scale excavations and subsequent post-excavation work result in large bodies of osteological and artefactual data which, in turn, allow archaeologists to glean an insight into the social identity of past populations. Biocultural studies that specifically focus on the treatment and attitudes towards children living in Romano-Britain (1st-5th century A.D.) and early Anglo-Saxon England (5th-7th century A.D.) are no exception. However, this type of research tends to focus on sites that date to the same period, meaning that changes to the treatment and attitudes towards children from the Roman to early Anglo-Saxon period are largely unexplored. Through an examination of the burial record and documentary sources, this paper will consider how attitudes towards children changed from the first to early seventh century A.D. This will be achieved through an exploration of three key areas, namely the demographic nature of sites, artefactual assemblages interred with the dead, and placement of children in the funerary landscape. It is hoped that this research will highlight the value of conducting multi-period studies as a means of understanding how attitudes and treatment of children changed over time.


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Changing with the times: An exploration of shifting attitudes and funerary treatment of children from the Roman to early medieval period in Britain. Kirsty Squires. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403765)


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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