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Child Bioarchaeology: Perspectives on the Past 10 Years

Mays, Simon; Gowland, Rebecca; Halcrow, Siân; Murphy, Eileen

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Simon Mays

Siân Halcrow

Eileen Murphy


This article aims to provide an overview of some of the more important developments in the bioarchaeology of childhood over the past decade. Analysis of publication trends in the major osteoarchaeology and physical anthropology journals demonstrated a rise in research papers dealing with skeletal remains of children, with dietary and palaeopathological studies especially predominant. Innovations in these areas are discussed in more detail, together with some important developments in theoretical frameworks for using skeletal evidence to situate children in past societies. Among these latter is the life course approach, in which childhood is considered within the context of the trajectory of the entire life course. The integration of studies of child skeletal remains with those of adults helps to provide a more complete picture of communities in the past.


Mays, S., Gowland, R., Halcrow, S., & Murphy, E. (2017). Child Bioarchaeology: Perspectives on the Past 10 Years. Childhood in the Past, 10(1), 38-56.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Apr 22, 2017
Publication Date Apr 22, 2017
Deposit Date May 12, 2017
Publicly Available Date May 31, 2017
Journal Childhood in the Past
Print ISSN 1758-5716
Electronic ISSN 2040-8528
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 1
Pages 38-56


Published Journal Article (Advance online version) (2.5 Mb)

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Copyright Statement
Advance online version © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group and the Society for the Study of Childhood in the Past 2017
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License
(, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

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