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Ref ID: 19664
Ref Type: BAR Section
Authors: Oxenham, Marc
Matsumura, Hirofumi
Domett, Kate
Nguyen Kim Thuy,
Nguyen Kim Dung,
Nguyen Lan Cuong,
Huffer, Damien
Muller, Sarah
Title: Childhood in late neolithic Vietnam: bio-mortuary insights into an ambiguous life stage.
Date: 2008
Source: Babies reborn: infant/child burials in pre- and protohistory
Publisher: British Archaeological Reports
Notes: Union Internationale des Sciences Prehistoriques et Protohistoriques. Proceedings of the XV World Congress (Lisbon, 4-9 September 2006)
BAR International Series 24
Abstract: This paper looks at late Neolithic cemetery site dated to approximately 3500 years BP in northern Vietnam. The purpose is to 1) use the techniques of mortuary archaeology to shed light on the role of children and adult attitudes towards children at this site
and 2) assess the level of health and well being of the children. Mortuary methods included an examination of a range of traits including burial position and orientation as well as the number and manner of grave furniture in respect to age-to-death and sex where possible. In terms of health, measures or signatures of cribra orbitalia, enamel hypoplasia and oral health were investigated. It was found that many of the non-surviving children of Man Bac suffered from physiological insult and severe dental caries. Fertility was elevated in comparison to other prehistoric Southeast Asian skeletal assemblages and the number of living children in Man Bac, at any given time, was likely elevated. Despite high infant mortality, all individuals, regardless of age, received some form of basic mortuary treatment. the nature and type of mortuary treatment at Man Bac suggests children were recognised as members of the community, with economic and social value. There is some indication that different developmental and/or social stages were recognized through mortuary treatment and that childhood may have finished rather early, in terms of chronological age, at Man Bac.
Date Created: 9/21/2009
Editors: Bacvarov, Krum
Volume: 24
Page Start: 123
Page End: 136
Series Editor: Oosterbeek, Luiz
Series Title: BAR International Series