Egyptian ‘hawk’ mummy is a human foetus with a fatal birth defect

Recently researchers have made an unexpected discovery of a mummified foetus while CT scanning a 2300-year-old mummy known as Ta-Kush currently held at the Maidstone Museum in Kent. This coffin was labelled, “A mummified hawk with linen and cartonnage, Ptolemaic period (323 BC – 30 BC).” Micro-CT scan shows the mummified stillborn human baby. Image: […]

via Egyptian ‘hawk’ mummy is a human foetus with a fatal birth defect — The Bioarchaeology of Childhood | Sian Halcrow

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‘I Bambini Nel Tempo’: a new exhibition on childhood in the past

If you are in Milan over the next few months, you might like to have a look at a new exhibition, curated by Cristina Cattaneo and Claudia Lambrugo, at the Antiquarium ‘Alda Levi’ in Milan. Exploring the archaeology and anthropology of childhood, it’s on from the 15th May to the 3rd November 2018.

childhood poster

 

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Research Fellowship Opportunity

Below is a message from Sanna Lipkin on a research project being advertised on the topic of childhood in the past:

“Interested in childhood in the past and Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship at the University of Oulu?

Archaeology Research Unit at the University of Oulu, Finland, is looking for candidates to apply for a Marie Curie fellowship in project “Daily and afterlife of children (1500–1900): New perspectives in identifying childhood in the past”. If you are eligible, have a great research idea and would like to work with us, please check out (http://www.oulu.fi/university/msca-if) and contact Sanna Lipkin.

Archaeology at the University of Oulu is small but dynamic research unit. We specialize in northern archaeology with special emphasis on bioarchaeology, cultural heritage, and archaeology of the modern world. Archaeology at the University of Oulu is an excellent research environment for working on these topics, with necessary research infrastructure and internationally active research staff.

Short project description is as follows (http://www.oulu.fi/university/node/51979):

Daily and afterlife of children (1500–1900): New perspectives in identifying childhood in the past

Faculty of Humanities

The project regenerates archaeological childhood studies through examining the status of children between 1500 and 1900. These will be approached through application of theories of emotions, performance and identity research.

Research topics:

1  Finding children’s voices in the archaeological materials from burials and settlement contexts,

2  Studying socialization of children based on historical sources such as probate inventories, mill, and school records,

3  Analysing the nutrition and health of the past children and discussing breastfeeding patterns.

More information:

Sanna Lipkin, sanna.lipkin@oulu.fi

Academy Research Fellow

Archaeology

University of Oulu, Finland

Research Assistant Professor

Department of Anthropology

SUNY at Buffalo, US

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Baby farming in New Zealand

One of the most high profile cases of infanticide was committed by Minnie Dean in the late 19th century, also gaining infamy as the only woman in New Zealand to receive the death penalty for her crimes. During my childhood I heard many different stories of her hideous acts, made even more pertinent given that […]

via The notorious ‘baby murderer’ from New Zealand — The Bioarchaeology of Childhood | Sian Halcrow

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New special issue of Childhood in the Past out now

The spring issue of Volume 11 of Childhood in the Past, the journal of the Society for the Study of Childhood in the Past, has just been published. This special issue is guest edited by John D. Burton and Jane Eva Baxter from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois, USA, and focuses on nineteenth-century education. It had its genesis in the Society’s eighth international conference, organized by Jane Eva Baxter and hosted by DePaul University, in 2015. In addition to the research papers included in the special issue, we also include six book reviews, compiled by Simon Mays, on a range of exciting recent publications including the fifth SSCIP monograph – Children, Death and Burial (2017).

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New Book: Infancy and Earliest Childhood in the Roman World: ‘A Fragment of Time’

9780199687633Maureen Carroll’s new book is out tomorrow on infancy in the Roman world  (see this on Google Books and the Oxford University Press website).

  • Offers the first comprehensive study of infancy and earliest childhood in the Roman world, from conception and development in the womb to birth and milestone developments during the first year of life
  • Draws on a wide range of different types of evidence (archaeological, skeletal, textual, visual, legal) to provide fresh, interdisciplinary perspectives on this subject
  • Yields new insights through analysis of material culture in particular, placing the ancient texts traditionally used to understand perceptions of childhood in a broader context
  • Explores a wide chronological and geographic framing of the Roman evidence, covering roughly the fourth century BC to the third century AD and all regions throughout the Empire

Despite the developing emphasis in current scholarship on children in Roman culture, there has been relatively little research to date on the role and significance of the youngest children within the family and in society. This volume singles out this youngest age group, the under one-year-olds, in the first comprehensive study of infancy and earliest childhood to encompass the Roman Empire as a whole: integrating social and cultural history with archaeological evidence, funerary remains, material culture, and the iconography of infancy, it explores how the very particular historical circumstances into which Roman children were born affected their lives as well as prevailing attitudes towards them. Examination of these varied strands of evidence, drawn from throughout the Roman world from the fourth century BC to the third century AD, allows the rhetoric about earliest childhood in Roman texts to be more broadly contextualized and reveals the socio-cultural developments that took place in parent-child relationships over this period. Presenting a fresh perspective on archaeological and historical debates, the volume refutes the notion that high infant mortality conditioned Roman parents not to engage in the early life of their children or to view them, or their deaths, with indifference, and concludes that even within the first weeks and months of life Roman children were invested with social and gendered identities and were perceived as having both personhood and value within society.

Author information:

Maureen Carroll, Professor of Roman Archaeology, University of Sheffield

Maureen Carroll is Professor of Roman Archaeology at the University of Sheffield and is also a founding member of its Centre for the Archaeology of Childhood. She studied Classical Archaeology in Canada, the USA, and Germany, and was the recipient of the prestigious Balsdon Fellowship and the Hugh Last Fellowship at the British School at Rome in 2008 and 2016 respectively. She has published widely on infant death and burial in Roman Italy, on Roman funerary commemoration, and on Roman gardens, and has conducted excavations at major sites in the Roman world, including Pompeii and Vagnari in Italy and Cologne in Germany.

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Stunted near the start of life: Evidence for severe deprivation from London’s poorest 19th century parish — The Bioarchaeology of Childhood | Sian Halcrow

New research has uncovered the extent of the impact of ill health on the urban underprivileged during the Victorian era with finds of severe growth retardation of infant and child bones. The authors show that the social deprivation at Bethnal Green in London, UK, was so extreme that this affected the growth of the long […]

via Stunted near the start of life: Evidence for severe deprivation from London’s poorest 19th century parish — The Bioarchaeology of Childhood | Sian Halcrow

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