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date: 23 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Social status, religious affiliations and beliefs, wealth, power, aspirations, and desires were all expressed through ancient Egyptian iconography, but children and the process of growing up are rarely the main focus of artistic compositions. While the selectiveness of ancient sources may mean that we cannot reconstruct an accurate or comprehensive picture of the experience of childhood in ancient Egypt, figured ostraca and other imagery at least provide insights into the contribution children made to the economy and to family life in antiquity. This chapter explores the contexts in which children were depicted, to show that the lived reality of youth is accessible at least insofar as it was relevant to the medium, intended audience, or the context in which images were displayed.

Keywords: child, childhood, Egypt, iconography, art, ostraca, tomb

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