Children in Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology

  • Siân Ellen HalcrowEmail author
  • Stacey M. Ward
Living reference work entry


The bioarchaeology of childhood has gained traction in the past two decades, with a proliferation of research papers and new methods for investigating this subset of past populations (Halcrow and Tayles 2008; Lewis 2007; Mays et al. 2017). It is now accepted that children are so-called “canaries in the coal mine” for population stress as a whole because their developing immune system and the energy requirements of normal growth make them more susceptible to the effects of stress (Lewis 2007). It is well established that children are sensitive barometers of population fertility, mortality, stress, and infectious disease, and their study also provides insights into identity and childcare practices in archaeological populations (Larsen 2015). Similarly, research on children in the forensic context is crucial given that infants and children are often the victims of homicide and genocide (Lewis 2007). For example, in 2012, children younger than the age of 20 comprised 95,000...


Bioarchaeology Forensic Anthropology Social Life Course Cemetery Sample Developmental Origins Of Health And Disease (DOHaD) 
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Further Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anatomy, School of Biomedical SciencesUniversity of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

Section editors and affiliations

  • Soren Blau
    • 1
  • Luis Fondebrider
    • 2
  • Douglas H. Ubelaker
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Forensic MedicineVictorian Institute of Forensic Medicine / Monash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.The Argentine Forensic Anthropology Team (Equipo Argentino de Antropología Forense, EAAF)Buenos AiresArgentina
  3. 3.National Museum of Natural HistorySmithsonian InstitutionWashingtonUSA