Unearthing Late Medieval Children

Health, status and burial practice in Southern England

Heidi Dawson


This study explores the status of children in the late medieval period (AD 1066-1539) based on two concepts of the child; biological and cultural. The biological evidence is explored by an osteoarchaeological analysis of sub-adult skeletal remains concentrating on markers related to status, such as, age, rates of growth, the presence of stress indicators, and rates of dental wear. The cultural aspect involves an analysis of the funerary context, such as, location of burial, position of the body, and grave inclusions, as well as reference to historical sources depicting the role of children.