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: 22 November 2019

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.

Keywords: Amulets, baby, babies, baby doll, balls, board games, dolls, games, gender roles, grave goods, material culture, play, toys

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.