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Growing up in an Italian Copper Age community: the role of children in everyday life

Grandir dans une communauté de l’âge du Cuivre en Italie : le rôle des enfants dans la vie quotidienne
Sara Bernardini, Gwenaëlle Goude, Kerry L. Sayle, Caroline Gauthier, Eric Douville, Biancamaria Aranguren, Antonietta Del Bove et Mary Anne Tafuri

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1The study of children’s role in past communities is difficult to face in archaeology. An active contribution of the children in everyday life varies within societies and cultures, as well as the social and biological definition of childhood. In Central Italy, specific funerary customs for subadults are documented in the Copper Age (4th-3rd millennia BCE) according to age classes. Here we propose to investigate childhood in an Italian Copper Age human group by a multi- isotope analysis (δ13C, δ15N, δ34S and 87Sr/86Sr) on dentine/enamel and bone of two adult individuals, from the funerary cave of Grotta Spinosa (Central Italy). The reconstruction of the dietary intake variation and of the displacements occurred during early-life was compared to the adult values and to those of the rest of the group analysed, as well as the few comparative data available from prehistoric Italy. The framework obtained from this multi-tissue and multi-isotope study helped to shed light on experiences previously only suggested by the archaeological and skeletal evidence (i.e. passage to adulthood, and children’s implication in community life). The interpretation of the isotopic data in the light of the archaeological and biological information available, from the cave and the region (Central Italy), allowed us to suggest an age interval (ca. 10-12 y.o.) in which the children were likely involved in the "adult’s" tasks. This exploratory study highlights the interest of geochemical tools applied on archaeological remains and the need to develop further high-resolution and multi-tissue sampling when investigating particular past population practices.

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Sara Bernardini, Gwenaëlle Goude, Kerry L. Sayle, Caroline Gauthier, Eric Douville, Biancamaria Aranguren, Antonietta Del Bove et Mary Anne Tafuri, « Growing up in an Italian Copper Age community: the role of children in everyday life »Bulletins et mémoires de la Société d’Anthropologie de Paris [En ligne], 35(S) | 2023, mis en ligne le 14 janvier 2023, consulté le 28 janvier 2023. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/bmsap/10826 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/bmsap.10826

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Auteurs

Sara Bernardini

UMR 7269 LAMPEA, Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, Minist Culture, Aix-en-Provence, France ; Department of Environmental Biology, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
bernardinis90[at]gmail.com

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Gwenaëlle Goude

UMR 7269 LAMPEA, Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, Minist Culture, Aix-en-Provence, France

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Kerry L. Sayle

Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, Scottish Enterprise Technology Park, East Kilbride, United Kingdom

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Caroline Gauthier

UMR 8212 Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, LSCE/IPSL, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Université Paris-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, France

Eric Douville

UMR 8212 Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement, LSCE/IPSL, CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Université Paris-Saclay, Gif-sur-Yvette, France

Biancamaria Aranguren

Soprintendenza Archeologica, Belle Arti e Paesaggio della Toscana, Firenze, Italy

Antonietta Del Bove

Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Departament d’Història de l’Art, Tarragona, Spain ; Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evoclució Social (IPHES-CERCA), Tarragona, Spain

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Mary Anne Tafuri

Department of Environmental Biology, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

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CC-BY-NC-ND-4.0

Creative Commons - Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International - CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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