The first edition of The Archaeology of Childhood has been credited by many as launching an entire new area of scholarship in archaeology. This second edition, published 17 years later, retains the first edition’s emphasis on combining sources from archaeology, anthropology, environmental studies, psychology, and sociology, to create a rich interdisciplinary basis for studying childhood across time and across cultures.
The second edition is updated with archaeological studies about childhood that have been published in the past 20 years, and readers will see that the archaeology of childhood is a field with a relatively short history but a rich and varied scholarship. Archaeologists study children in the very recent past, as well as Neanderthal and early modern human children, and every period in between. These studies use artifacts, the built environment, spatial analyses, the artistic representations, skeletal remains, and mortuary assemblages to illuminate the lives of children, their families, and communities.
The book’s eight chapters cover:
1: The Archaeology of Childhood in Context
2: Childhood in Archaeology: Themes, Terms, and Foundations
3: The Cultural Creation of Childhood: The Idea of Socialization
4: Socialization and the Material Culture of Childhood
5: Socialization, Behavior, and the Spaces and Places of Childhood
6: Socialization, Symbols, and Artistic Representations of Children
7: Socialization, Childhood, and Mortuary Remains
8: Looking Back and Moving Forward
This book provides a comprehensive introduction to the major themes in the archaeological study of childhood and introduces the concept of socialization as a way of framing archaeological scholarship on children. Case studies and examples from around the globe are included, and the author’s expertise on childhood in 18th-20th century America is drawn upon to provide more familiar examples for readers allowing them to question their own assumptions and understandings of what it means to be a child.
Each chapter ends with discussion questions and learning activities.
Jane Eva Baxter is associate professor and chair of anthropology and a member of the American Studies Program Committee at DePaul University.
Preface to the Second Edition
Chapter 1: The Archaeology of Childhood in Context
Chapter 2: Childhood in Archaeology: Themes, Terms, and Foundations
Chapter 3: The Cultural Creation of Childhood: The Idea of Socialization
Chapter 4: Socialization and the Material Culture of Childhood
Chapter 5: Socialization, Behavior, and the Spaces and Places of Childhood
Chapter 6: Socialization, Symbols, and Artistic Representations of Children
Chapter 7: Socialization, Childhood, and Mortuary Remains
Chapter 8: Looking Back and Moving Forward
About the Author
Baxter’s second edition will introduce a new generation of students and scholars to the richness of studying children in the past. This volume highlights the enormous body of work done on childhood since the first edition, including an entirely new chapter on bioarchaeology and mortuary studies. It is an essential, accessible resource for anyone studying childhood, and additions like the Learning Activities make this an invaluable tool for the classroom.
Jane Eva Baxter, a foremost scholar of past childhoods, explores the diversity of childhood and adolescence across time and space in a sophisticated, up-to-date, and well-referenced, yet accessible, new edition of the now-classic, The Archaeology of Childhood: Children, Gender, and Material Culture. This volume is a must-read for every anthropologist.
Soon after its publication, the first edition of Jane Baxter’s The Archaeology of Childhood took its place as a foundational text in our discipline, one that I found myself returning to again and again for my own research and teaching. Almost two decades later, this second edition is much more than a simple update of the earlier publication but rather it is the skillful interweaving of robust theory, innovative methods, detailed case studies and critical insight based on years of the author’s research. This has resulted in a thoughtful, nuanced, and multi-layered approach to studying children and childhood in the past. While the first edition argued for the potential of child focused studies in archaeology, the second edition richly demonstrates how this potential has been realized and points to a future when studying children and their contributions will become a routine and unremarkable part of what we do as archaeologists. In changing our practice, this book is nothing short of revolutionary.
The second edition of Jane Eva Baxter's pioneering volume has everything you loved about the original and so much more. Baxter deftly explains how the field of Childhood Studies has matured in the last twenty years since the first edition and she uses the latest examples from the second generation of scholars in this field throughout the entire volume. Baxter's voice as an archaeologist and scholar has also matured, and she uses her position as a key figure in the Archaeology of Childhood to encourage new scholarship while also continuing to explain to those not familiar with this field, why every archaeologist is doing the archaeology of childhood. This book is an instant classic.