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Title: Bodies, bones, objects and stones : investigating infancy, infant death, deposition and human identity in Iron Age Southern England
Author: Lally, Michael
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis significantly contributes towards a fuller and more complex appreciation of the formation of human identity in Iron Age Southern England. It constitutes the first doctoral study of infancy, infant death and infant deposition for this region and period, and is the first piece of research to specifically consider infancy as an informer upon the formation of identity at this time. This thesis is structured around four main themes: (1) Was there a concept of infancy in Iron Age southern England? (2) How does infancy inform upon the construction of identity at this time? (3) If present, how did the concept of infancy fit into any perceived understanding of a wider Iron Age life course? (4) Were infants treated in similar ways to older individuals in death? These themes led to the formation of a set of hypothesised research questions. The investigative results offer an important and fresh insight into the nature and construction of identity at this time. Results suggest that infant (and older) bodies and bones were conceptualised and treated in multiple, and often co-existing, ways; many of which appear to have had nothing to do with the formal burial of the ‘person’ per se. Rather, while some bodies were formally buried, many others were perceived and treated in objectified ways. In these instances, human bodies and bones were conceptualised as forms of materiality, perceived and treated in a similar way to animal bodies and bones, objects and environmental materials. Importantly, this thesis provides evidence which suggests that although multiple and complex, in many instances, the conceptual nature of the infant (and older) body, and its subsequent treatment and deposition during this time, may have been underpinned by a uniform and geographically widespread concept of infancy.
Supervisor: Champion, Timothy ; Sofaer, Joanna ; Ward, Anthony Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: CC Archaeology