Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 26 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

High infant mortality is an acknowledged fact of life in antiquity. However, infant burials are relatively rare, and Greek sources offer little information on views of the newborn dead. This chapter uses analysis of bones and artifacts recovered from a single, abandoned well in the Athenian Agora to examine the disposal of infants who died in the perinatal period. The skeletons of infants, deposited along with dogs and pottery during a short period in the second century BCE, are demonstrated to be the remains of perinatal infants. Many of the infants died of natural causes. The dog skeletons are arguably associated with purification following childbirth and the pollution associated with untimely death.

Keywords: Athens, Agora, Hellenistic pottery, infant osteology, infanticide, paleopathology, perinatal death

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.