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Forever young: Child burial in anglo-saxon England

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines a practice of burying children with adults who suffered from some form of impairment in Anglo-Saxon England. It should be considered that concepts of ?childhood' or impairment may have changed during the almost seven hundred years of Anglo-Saxon history. The burial of the dead may not be a reflection of living populations, but it may tell us about aspirations of the living and the relationship that the living felt with the deceased members of their society. Some objects are more likely to occur with child inhumations and may carry an inherent age symbolism. The complexities of burial space seem to suggest that people, who are buried together, seem to share similarities, be at age, status, or even kin relation. The conversion of the Anglo-Saxons may have introduced a concept of life after death, in which physical death was separated from the death of the soul.

Keywords: Anglo-Saxon England; child burial; dead children



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