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H 245 x W 174 mm

268 pages

Published Aug 2023

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781803275116

Digital: 9781803275123

DOI 10.32028/9781803275116

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Childhood in the Past Monograph Series 10

Normative, Atypical or Deviant? Interpreting Prehistoric and Protohistoric Child Burial Practices

Edited by Eileen Murphy, Mélie Le Roy

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This volume explores the response of the living when dealing with the death of a child. Papers focus on juvenile burial practices in Europe and the Near East during recent prehistory and protohistory. The interpretation of normative, atypical or deviant is interrogated based on the context of the burials and the intentionality of the practice.



Introduction: Normative, Atypical or Deviant? Interpreting Prehistoric and Protohistoric Child Burial Practices – Eileen Murphy and Mélie Le Roy


Moments of Memory and Belonging. A Special Child Burial from Neolithic Ba`ja,
Southern Jordan – Marion Benz, Hala Alarashi, Julia Gresky, Christoph Purschwitz and Hans Georg K. Gebel


The First Youngsters of a New Age: Juveniles in the Neolithic of Hungary – Alexandra Anders


Where Do the Children Go? Funerary Treatments of Juveniles Within Collective Burial Sites in Neolithic Southern France – Mélie Le Roy


Are They Really Missing? Non-Adult Graves of the Late Prehistory of Central Spain: An Archaeological and Bioanthropological Approach – Ana Mercedes Herrerro-Corral


Juvenile Burial Practices in Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age Ireland: Interpretations of the Atypical – Cormac McSparron and Eileen Murphy


Sweet Child O’ Mine. Family Ties, Inheritance System and Representation of Infants in Iron Age Veneto: The Case of Mound L from Este, Padua – Fiorenza Bortolami


An Integrated Approach Towards the Analysis of Child Burials in the Etruscan Po Valley, Italy (6th-3rd century BC): Representation and Spatial Choices – Anna Serra


Burying Children in Iron Age Normandy: The Unusual Case of the Necropolis of Urville-Nacqueville, Second Century BC – Ana Arzelier, Caroline Partiot, Claire-Elise Fischer, Anthony Lefort, Melie Le Roy, Stéphane Rottier


Funerary Rituals for Juveniles in Gaul. Specificities and Standards of Infant Burials in Avaricum from the 1st to 5th Centuries AD – Raphaël Durand


A Childhood Cut Short? The Mortuary Analysis of Subadult Decapitation Burials in
Western Roman Britain – Shaheen M. Christie


Mors Immatura in the Civitas of Forum Iulii, Narbonnensis Gaul: An Archaeothanatological Approach – Alexia Lattard and Aurore Schmitt


The Late Antiquity Burials of Verdier Nord, Lunel-Viel, Hérault, France: Graves on the Outskirts of the Necropolis – Sélim Djouad and Agathe Chen

About the Author

Eileen Murphy is Professor of Archaeology in the School of Natural and Built Environment, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her research focuses on human skeletal populations from prehistoric Russia and all periods in Ireland. She is particularly interested in the use of approaches from bioarchaeology and funerary archaeology to help further understanding of the lives and experiences of people in the past. She has published widely and is the co-editor of Children, Death and Burial: Archaeological Discourses (2017; with Mélie Le Roy) and Across the Generations: The Old and the Young in Past Societies (2018; with Grete Lillehammer). She is the founding and longstanding editor of the international journal, Childhood in the Past.


Mélie Le Roy is a Lecturer in Biological Anthropology at Bournemouth University, UK. Her research centres on the social consideration of children in an archaeological context to provide insights into past social organisation. She co-edited the book Children, Death and Burial: Archaeological Discourses (2017; with Eileen Murphy) and was guest co-editor of a volume of the journal Childhood in the Past entitled Children at Work (2019; with Caroline Polet).