The Archaeology of Childhood: Children, Gender, and Material Culture

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $75.61
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 11%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (4) from $75.61   
  • New (3) from $75.61   
  • Used (1) from $96.64   


The study of children and childhood in historical and prehistoric life is an overlooked area of study that Jane Baxter addresses in this brief book. Her timely contribution stresses the importance of studying children as active participants in past cultures, instead of regarding them mainly for their effect on adult life. Using the critical concepts of gender and socialization, she develops new theoretical and methodological approaches for the archaeological study of this large but invisible population. Baxter presents examples from the analysis of toys, miniatures, and other objects traditionally associated with children, from the gendered distribution of activity space, from the remains of children-as-apprentices, and from mortuary evidence. Baxter's work will aid archaeologists bring a more nuanced understanding of children's role in the historical and archaeological record.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Journal Of Field Archaeology
This is a wide-ranging and useful survey of the material available for those who are interested in the archaeology of childhood, which leaves no excuses for future excavators to ignore the presence of large numbers of children on their sites. It summarizes various approaches to studying the material on children, and points out future directions for such studies. Its efficiency and compactness make it an essential addition to any archaeological library, institutional or persoanl.
South African Archaeological Bulletin
This recent addition to the Series is elegantly written in an accessbile style, and refreshingly, it displays none of the sentimentality that is sometimes associated with texts about children...An engrossing read. Baxter is to be congratulated for this well-researched and thought-provoking book.
Carla M. Sinopoli
In this elegant book, Jane Baxter provides a manifesto for why archaeologists should care about children, and develops archaeological methodologies for studying childhood and children on their own terms. Drawing on developmental psychology, cultural anthropology, biology, and gender theory, Baxter constructs a general framework for understanding the socialization process, focusing on the various mechanisms through which cultural knowledge is transmitted and transformed. To these disciplinary perspectives, Baxter adds an interest in material culture and the patterned use and construction of space and place by children, to provide tools by which archaeologists can identify and examine this important and long-neglected segment of all human societies. This result is a work that should be read by all archaeologists and former children interested in understanding cultural transmission and social structures and processes.
Robert W. Park
Baxter has written a concise and accessible introduction to the young field of archaeological research into childhood. Every archaeologist who has ever known or been a child should be able to find something worthwhile in this book, which contains both anthropologically important questions concerning childhood and a range of approaches by which those questions can be addressed via the archaeological record.
Kathryn Kamp
The Archaeology of Childhood: Children, Gender, and Material Culture is a valuable addition to the growing corpus of literature that explores ways for archaeologists to incorporate past children and childhood into their research. Baxter provides a particularly comprehensive and up-to-date review of the existing archaeological and cultural research.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780759103313
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2005
  • Series: Gender and Archaeology Series
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.64 (w) x 8.84 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Eva Baxter is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology and a member of the American Studies Program Committee at DePaul University in Chicago.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Part 1 CHAPTER 1: The Archaeology of Childhood in Context Chapter 2 Childhood in Anthropology Chapter 3 Childhood in Archaeology Chapter 4 The Importance of an Archaeology of Childhood Chapter 5 Chapter Organization Part 6 CHAPTER 2: Theorizing Childhood in Archaeology Chapter 7 Introducing the Child's World Chapter 8 Children and Gender: Cultural Categories in Archaeology Chapter 9 Children as Active Participants in the Past Chapter 10 Moving forward: Socialization and the Study of Childhood Part 11 CHAPTER 3: The Cultural Creation of Childhood: The Idea of Socialization Chapter 12 The Concept of Socialization: An Intergenerational Discourse Chapter 13 Agents of Socialization and the Imparting of Cultural Knowledge Chapter 14 Socialization in the Past Chapter 15 Socialization Across Cultures Part 16 CHAPTER 4: Socialization and the Material Culture of Childhood Chapter 17 Multiple Meanings and Material Culture Chapter 18 Socialization in the Use of Material Culture: Toys and Playthings Chapter 19 Identifying Toys in Archaeological Contexts Chapter 20 Socialization in the Making of Material Culture: Apprenticeship and Situated Learning Chapter 21 Studying Apprenticeship and Learning in the Archaeological Record Part 22 CHAPTER 5: Socialization, Behavior, and the Spaces and Places of Childhood Chapter 23 Children as a "Distorting Factor" in the Archaeological Record Chapter 24 Socialization and the Use of Space Chapter 25 Children at Play Chapter 26 Children at Work Chapter 27 Children and Space across Cultures Chapter 28 Children and Space in the Archaeological Record Chapter 29 Socialization, Space and Archaeology of Childhood Part 30 CHAPTER 6: Socialization, Symbols, and Artistic Representations of Children Chapter 31 Depicting Childhood, Depicting Gender Chapter 32 Children at Work and at Play Chapter 33 Child Rearing and Parenting Chapter 34 Children as Cultural Symbols Part 35 CHAPTER 7: Socialization, Childhood, and Mortuary Remains Chapter 36 What are we studying when we analyze mortuary remains? Chapter 37 Children as a Category in Mortuary Archaeology Chapter 38 Identifying Age Based Categories through Mortuary Remains Chapter 39 Childhood Health, Nutrition, and Mortality Chapter 40 Children and the Elucidation of Horizontal Social Categories Chapter 41 Children as Indicators of Vertical Social Status Chapter 42 Mortuary Monuments and Representations of Children Part 43 CHAPTER 8: Themes and Lessons from the Archaeology of Childhood Chapter 44 Socialization, Gender, and the Cultural Construction of Childhood Chapter 45 Casting Children as Actors Chapter 46 Child, Family, Community, Society Chapter 47 All Archaeology is the Archaeology of Childhood Part 48 BIBLIOGRAPHY 49 INDEX 50 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)