Material culture approaches to the study of children and childhood in the Roman world.
thesisposted on 19.11.2015 by Katherine V. Huntley
In order to distinguish essays and pre-prints from academic theses, we have a separate category. These are often much longer text based documents than a paper.
This thesis presents a theoretical framework for studying several aspects of children's lives through material culture. The framework, which is developed from current theory in archaeology, anthropology and sociology that stresses the agency and social contributions of children, is applied to three case studies based in the Roman world that have been designed to focus on different aspects of their lives. The first case study looks at graffiti from Pompeii and Herculaneum as material remains of children's activities and the social expectations influencing them. The second examines burial assemblages of children in the provinces of Raetia and Germania Superior to understand how childhood is demarcated as a social space. The final case study reconsiders the role of toys and objects traditionally thought of as children's material culture in the process of socialization. Ultimately this thesis attempts to draw conclusions about the lived experiences of children, including the physical location of their activities and the relationships they had with family members, peers and other members of their communities.