Non-adult Dis/ability and Care in Early Medieval Britain

Author(s): Katie Hemer

Year: 2018


A child who is unwell or physically impaired naturally causes concern and anxiety for his or her parents/carers. For many in today’s modern society, accessible medical care means that the challenges associated with caring for a sick or disabled child can be overcome or, at least, minimized. But how did parents/carers respond and adapt to the demands of ill-health and physical impairment in children during the early medieval period? In seeking to address this question, this paper will explore evidence for physical impairment (e.g. achondroplasia) from the analysis of non-adult skeletal remains from early medieval Britain. Through an exploration of the burial rites accorded to physically impaired children, this paper will consider whether or not parents/carers put in place any provision for their child either during and/or after life, and whether such evidence offers insight into early medieval attitudes towards dis/ability.

Cite this Record

Non-adult Dis/ability and Care in Early Medieval Britain. Katie Hemer. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443684)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -13.711; min lat: 35.747 ; max long: 8.965; max lat: 59.086 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 19908