LD01
The vulnerable child: biological responses to life in the past

Convenors:
Sian Halcrow (University of Otago)
Mary Lewis (University of Reading)
Location:
Roscoe 2.10
Start time:
6 August, 2013 at 9:00
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

The bioarchaeology of infants and children is increasingly becoming recognised as a useful means to investigate physical and social life in the past. This session will explore the current status of the bioarchaeological investigation of children from sites all over the world.

Long abstract:

Although the health of infants and children is a sensitive barometer of population health, they were often discounted in archaeological research. There was a perception that their bones do not survive well in the ground, and that they are consistently under-represented in the archaeological record. In recent years attitudes have begun to change and this session aims to explore the current status of the bioarchaeology of children. Child skeletons provide a wealth of information on their physical and social life, from their growth and development, diet and age at death, to the cultural and economic factors that affect their nutrition and expose them to trauma and disease at different stages of their lives. The ways in which children are buried are also very indicative of cultural aspects of a society, including social age and gender structures. Papers within this session explore aspects of infant and child bioarchaeology with the aim to increase awareness of the importance of examining these remains from sites all over the world, and some of the challenges that are faced.