The concept for this book materialised as a result of some brilliant research by University of Buckingham MA Archaeology students in 2014-15. Each examined a feature of the Stonehenge landscape from a different space and time perspective and produced work which contained a key focus on a neglected aspect of the multiple history of the area. Their dissertations have been edited into chapters and the broad scope of the collection covers people using, building and reshaping this landscape from the end of the Ice Age to the end of the Romano-British period. In doing so new detail about the richness and variety of ways generations of ordinary people understood the place is revealed.
The discovery of the internationally important Mesolithic site at Blick Mead by the University of Buckingham team, with specialist support from Durham and Reading Universities, the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes Project and the Natural History Museum, provides a rich data set for students interested in the Mesolithic in general and the establishment of the Stonehenge landscape in particular.
3 Towards a methodological framework for identifying the presence of and analysing the child in the archaeological record, using the case of Mesolithic children in post-glacial northern Europe
Numerous commentators have demonstrated that, until recently, the place of children has been overlooked by archaeologists and this needs addressing. However, over the past 20 years or so, studies of the child in the archaeological record have been increasingly conducted. A number of these have considered the active and agentic roles engaged in by children rather than viewing them as simply the passive objects of adult behaviour and it is the active orientation that this study takes. There are many difficulties in accessing the child in the archaeological record particularly from pre-history. Nonetheless, an attempt has been made to develop an archaeological methodological framework for identifying the presence of and analysing the child in the archaeological record, applying it to the case of Mesolithic children in post-glacial north-western Europe, featuring the Mesolithic sites of Blick Mead, in Stonehenge landscape and Tubney Woods in Oxfordshire. Thus a process of archaeological triangulation is engaged. The methodologies comprising the framework include ethnographic analogy; analysis of material; landscape and object phenomenology; and archaeological experimentation. A review of interpretations of ‘child’ is also provided. The conclusion from the study is that triangulating an appropriate framework of archaeological methodologies can provide for a plausible understanding and interpretation of the lives of children in a specific context.
The study reported here is an interpretation of what children’s lives might have been like in the Mesolithic Stonehenge landscape. It draws on an exploration of the use of a methodological...
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