- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- Becoming Human: From the Embryo to the Newborn Child
- The Demography of Infancy and Early Childhood in the Ancient World
- Babies in the Well: Archeological Evidence for Newborn Disposal in Hellenistic Greece
- Infant Exposure and Infanticide
- The Child Patient of the Hippocratics: Early Pediatrics?
- Raising a Disabled Child
- Children in Archaic and Classical Greek Art: A Survey
- Children as Learners and Producers in Early Greece
- Shifting Gender: Age and Social Status as Modifiers of Childhood Gender in Ancient Athens
- Children in Athenian Religion
- Play, Pathos, and Precocity: The Three P’s of Greek Literary Childhood
- Children in Latin Epic
- The Socialization of Roman Children
- Slave and Lower-Class Roman Children
- Children and Childhood in Roman Commemorative Art
- Toys, Dolls, and the Material Culture of Childhood
- Roman Children and the Law
- Education in Plato’s <i>Laws</i>
- Boys, Girls, Family, and the State at Sparta
- Engendering the Scroll: Girls’ and Women’s Literacy in Classical Greece
- Educating the Youth: The Athenian Ephebeia in the Early Hellenistic Era
- The Ancient Child in School
- Children in Ptolemaic Egypt: What the Papyri Say
- Children in Roman Egypt
- Adoption and Fosterage in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean
- Pictorial Paideia: Children in the Synagogue
- Children and “the Child” in Early Christianity
- Elite Children, Socialization, and Agency in the Late Roman World
- Remembering Children in the Roman Catacombs
- Stages of Infancy in Roman Amphora Burial
Abstract and Keywords
When is a toy not a toy? The material culture of childhood in the past is notoriously difficult to locate but is most often identified in terms of playthings. This chapter looks at the problems of examining this body of material in terms of the life and death of the child. Dolls and miniatures, in particular, are considered because they appear to have a fascination for the modern reader and museum visitor. In funerary contexts these items have multiple possible meanings: Do they have a ritual significance? Are they placed in the grave by loving parents as representative of the lost child or the loss of the potential adult? Were they toys played with in life by the deceased child? None of these interpretations are mutually exclusive, but their range highlights the complexity of examining the material culture of childhood.
Mary Harlow, Senior Lecturer in Ancient History, University of Leicester (UK).
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