Intersecting Age and Social Boundaries in Sub–Adult Burials of Central Italy during the 1st Millennium BC

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


A contextual analysis of Latin burials between the end of the Final Bronze Age and the end of the Orientalizing Age with a comparative perspective to Etruscan and other central Italian populations, seems to suggest that there was an important age threshold between infant below 3–5 years of age and children older than this age. Children below this age generally lack gender and status role indicators while children above this age might have these types of indicators.
According to literary sources, ethnographic accounts and modern psychology studies this might be linked to the important stage of development of speech but also to the cessation of breastfeeding and the completion of weaning and the emancipation of the child from exclusive maternal care. Similarly those sources show how children between 4/5 years of age and 8/10 years of age acquire a new status different from that of infants due to the development of important social abilities and skills together with gender awareness.
With the advent of urban societies more infant of exceptional wealth tend to receive gender as well as status indicators. This seem to suggest that by this time the belonging to the aristocratic group intersects and overrules sex and age boundaries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrom invisible to visible: new data and methods for the archaeology of infant and child burials in pre-Roman Italy
EditorsTabolli Jacopo
PublisherAstrom Edition
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2018

Publication series

NameStudies in Mediterranean Archaeology (SIMA)
PublisherAstrom Editions


  • Infancy
  • identity
  • Italy
  • Urbanization
  • childhood


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