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Picture of Children, Identity and the Past

Children, Identity and the Past

Editor(s): Liv Helga Dommasnes and Melanie Wrigglesworth
Subject: Archaeology

Book Description

In this volume, fourteen authors representing different academic fields and traditions present their work on children in past societies: how to recognise children in the archaeological record, the conditions of their lives and deaths and how they may have been perceived by their contemporaries.

The case studies, from a number of European sites, cover a time-span from the Palaeolithic to the Middle Ages. A central theme in many of the contributions is socialisation and education as part of identity-forming processes. What was it like to be a child in Palaeolithic times? How did the Early Medieval Church approach the teaching of children? Socialisation is a theme echoed also in the two papers dealing with teaching children of today about the past, as the authors discuss how the past can be used in present identity-forming processes.

During the last c. 20 years, the archaeology of children has been enriching our understandings of the past. The papers in this volume make us realise that the study of children will have a profound impact on the study of past societies in general, challenging us to reconsider established notions of prehistoric community life. The past will never be the same after its children have entered the scene…


ISBN-13: 978-1-8471-8590-7
ISBN-10: 1-84718-590-8
Date of Publication: 01/06/2008
Pages / Size: 244 / A5
Price: £34.99


Dr. Liv Helga Dommasnes is Professor of Archaeology at the University Museum of Bergen, Norway. Among her publications are the articles Women, Kinship and the Basis of Power in the Norwegian Viking Age (1991 and 1998) and Women Archaeologists in Retrospect (1998, co-written with E.J. Kleppe, G. Mandt and J.-R. Naess). Her most recent book, Telling Children About the Past (2007), is co-edited with Dr. Nena Galanidou of the University of Crete, Greece.

Melanie Wrigglesworth, MA, is a PhD student at the University museum of Bergen, Norway. She is writing her thesis on Scandinavian Bronze Age, focussing on rock art and landscape. Among her publications are Explorations in Social Memory–Rock Art, lLndscape and the Reuse of Place (2006) and Bronze Age Rock Art and Burials in West Norway ( 2007).