Call for papers: ‘Comparing Archaeologies of Childhood’ at the World Archaeological Congress

The next World Archaeological Congress will be held this year (28 August to 2 September 2016) in the Japanese heritage city of Kyoto, conference details at http://wac8.org. There will be a session on the archaeology of childhood, which is on the program as T05-B ‘Comparing Archaeologies of Childhood’.

The panel organisers welcome submissions for presentations at this session:

‘In most of the past, children represented almost half of the human population, yet despite periodic symposia and case studies, children are still under-represented in archaeological work. This session will consider interpretations, methodology and theoretical approaches in our current archaeological understanding of children and childhood, and how the social, cultural, economic, medical and biological life of children changed over time. What is common ground, and what differs by time and place, from Australopithecines to recent historical societies? What new questions can be asked of existing data, in both prehistoric and historical societies? How much can we draw on studies and analogies from historic, ethnographic and primate biological studies to help in understanding childhood in an archaeological context? What kinds of material culture inform us of the lives of children, and of mothers with infants? What evidence does archaeology uncover for experimental learning and apprenticeship in skills (stone tools, food provision, advanced crafts)? And what does the presence or absence of child burials (and associated rituals and grave goods) tell us of the roles of children while alive?’

Formal submission should be sent through the World Archaeological Congress website at:  http://wac8.org/call-for-submissions/call-for-papers. The deadline is 30 April 2016.

Micro-Gold Challenge 2016

Hello, I am Lorena, the exhibition’s Education Assistant.  Since Hide and Seek: Looking for Children in the Past opened at the end of January, I have been busy providing taught sessions for primary and secondary schools, adult learners and community groups.  So far 246 students have used the exhibition to learn about Cambridge as a settlement, British Prehistory, Romans and Anglo-Saxons.

We are currently recruiting a team of volunteer explainers to help us provide visitors with a friendly introduction to the exhibition. We hope this service will enrich visitors’ experience and increase accessibility. More information about this new volunteer role is available here: http://www.cam.ac.uk/museums-and-collections/explainer-in-the-hide-and-seek-exhibition-museum-of-archaeology-and-anthropology.

As part of the Cambridge Science Festival this year, we are running a fun hands-on activity called ‘Beat the Bronze Age: The Microgold Challenge’. The activity is based around the tiny pieces of gold displayed in the exhibition.  These gold studs decorated the handle of a Bronze Age dagger found in a burial near Stonehenge.  The studs are so small that archaeologists had to use magnifying glasses to locate them in the soil! In a world without magnifying glasses, archaeologists believe that only children and teenagers would have been able to position the studs on the handle. We are putting this theory to the test with our scaled up versions of the dagger.  Join us on Saturday 12th March (11.00-16.00) to find out who will be the best at fixing the studs, adults or children!

For more information follow this link: http://www.sciencefestival.cam.ac.uk/events/beat-bronze-age-microgold-challenge.

1395close2 Close-up of the tiny gold studs from the Bronze Age dagger discovered near Stonehenge. Image © Wiltshire Museum, Devizes