Katharina Rebay-Salisbury


VAMOS

The value of mothers to society




ISBN 978-3-7001-8474-4
Online Edition

2019,  zahlr. Farb- u. s/w-Abb., pdf, online

Katharina Rebay-Salisbury



Analysing the link between reproduction and women’s social status, this project explores social responses to pregnancy, birth and childrearing from the late Neolithic to the late Iron Age (c. 3000–15 BC) through case studies in central Europe. Motherhood and childrearing, often seen as natural, mundane and inevitable parts of women’s lives, are also cultural and historically contingent practices that build the foundations of societies. Exploring the value of mothers to society aids in understanding important long-term developments such as social stratification, increasing population density and the entrenching of gender roles during the three millennia under investigation. Bringing together the latest developments in archaeological science, including palaeo-pathology, dental analysis, ancient DNA and isotope analyses, with innovative interpretative approaches, this project explores whetherall women were expected to become mothers, highlights alternative lifeways, evaluates risks and consequences of becoming a mother and reflects on the social value of reproductive success. It is the first study that systematically predicts the probability of whether or not a woman has given birth using palaeo-pathological markers, explores the age at first motherhood and the number of children per woman, and contextualises the findings with an in-depth status analysis of women’s graves. Graves of pregnant women, double burials of women and children, and infant burials provide further data. The study extends to childrearing (care, feeding, but also abuse, neglect and infanticide) and explores how children were treated after death for insights into their significance. Current political discourses about mothers in society and workforce frequently refer to ‘natural’ and ‘ancient’ childrearing practices. This project contributes significantly to our understanding of motherhood and counter naive narratives of childrearing in prehistory with science-based information.



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VAMOS



ISBN 978-3-7001-8474-4
Online Edition



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Austrian Academy of Sciences Press
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Thema: archaeology
Katharina Rebay-Salisbury


VAMOS

The value of mothers to society




ISBN 978-3-7001-8474-4
Online Edition

2019,  zahlr. Farb- u. s/w-Abb., pdf, online


Katharina Rebay-Salisbury


Analysing the link between reproduction and women’s social status, this project explores social responses to pregnancy, birth and childrearing from the late Neolithic to the late Iron Age (c. 3000–15 BC) through case studies in central Europe. Motherhood and childrearing, often seen as natural, mundane and inevitable parts of women’s lives, are also cultural and historically contingent practices that build the foundations of societies. Exploring the value of mothers to society aids in understanding important long-term developments such as social stratification, increasing population density and the entrenching of gender roles during the three millennia under investigation. Bringing together the latest developments in archaeological science, including palaeo-pathology, dental analysis, ancient DNA and isotope analyses, with innovative interpretative approaches, this project explores whetherall women were expected to become mothers, highlights alternative lifeways, evaluates risks and consequences of becoming a mother and reflects on the social value of reproductive success. It is the first study that systematically predicts the probability of whether or not a woman has given birth using palaeo-pathological markers, explores the age at first motherhood and the number of children per woman, and contextualises the findings with an in-depth status analysis of women’s graves. Graves of pregnant women, double burials of women and children, and infant burials provide further data. The study extends to childrearing (care, feeding, but also abuse, neglect and infanticide) and explores how children were treated after death for insights into their significance. Current political discourses about mothers in society and workforce frequently refer to ‘natural’ and ‘ancient’ childrearing practices. This project contributes significantly to our understanding of motherhood and counter naive narratives of childrearing in prehistory with science-based information.





Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
Austrian Academy of Sciences Press
A-1011 Wien, Dr. Ignaz Seipel-Platz 2
Tel. +43-1-515 81/DW 3402-3406, Fax +43-1-515 81/DW 3400
https://verlag.oeaw.ac.at, e-mail: verlag@oeaw.ac.at