One of the aims of the Archaeology of Childhood Project is to increase collaboration with local archaeology units, museums, community groups, archaeology/history societies, etc. as we work together to investigate and display the history of childhood and children in our region. To this end, we are pleased to announce the first Consultation Panel, which will be held at the Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology on Monday, 6 July at 6.30pm.
We are keen to hear from interested individuals and groups about what themes they would like to see addressed, any local finds, stories or objects they know of, etc. The team will present on our progress so far and discuss some of the objects we have identified in our collections. The session will last approximately 1 hour and tea and cake will be provided.
If you would like to attend, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you cannot attend but have ideas, please send them along! We will be having two more Consultation Panels later in the year, and will advertise those accordingly.
One of the first objects at MAA we thought of when we starting work on the Archaeology of Childhood exhibition was a miniature bow from Isleham, Cambridgeshire.
The bow is made of antler and was discovered in 1994 by the Cambridge Archaeology Unit, whilst excavating a Bronze Age settlement. I have always been intrigued by the size of this object: at only 45 cm long, it is too small for an adult to use and yet it was carefully made. When strung, it could well have fired miniature arrows.
Kasia Gdaniec, one of the excavators, suggested the bow could demonstrate the symbolic importance of archery to Bronze Age people, and may therefore have been a ritual object. This may well have been the case, but I can’t help wondering whether it was made for a child, perhaps to help them practice the art of archery. We hope to shed more light on these types of miniature objects – were they functional? were they symbolic? – as we continue our research for the exhibition.
Jody Joy, Senior Curator (Archaeology)
Image: Isleham bow, MAA 1997.11