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    Gender, Age and Visibility: The Archaeology of Women and Children in Ireland 700-1200 AD


    McAlister, Deirdre Katherine (2008) Gender, Age and Visibility: The Archaeology of Women and Children in Ireland 700-1200 AD. PhD thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.

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    Abstract

    This thesis comprises an engendered and age-aware examination of the existing corpus of Irish archaeological material in order to facilitate a more precise interpretation of the diversity of experiences of women and children in Ireland between 700 and 1200 AD. This thesis examines different conceptualizations of age and gender in early medieval Ireland and identifies how women and children’s experiences are expressed through the material culture of the different cultural groups that existed in Ireland during this period. The utilization of a thematic approach facilitates a comparison and contrast with the historical and archaeological material, enabling the drawing out of similarities and differences in the experiences of Native Irish, Scandinavian and Hiberno-Scandinavian women and children within chronological, regional, national and international contexts. Historical, mortuary and artefactual evidence from Irish, Viking and Hiberno-Scandinavian contexts is utilized with a view towards understanding that the cultural and social roles of women and children are much more complex than have been presented in the more ‘traditional’ archaeological record. Children and childhood in the past are accessed through the utilization of a number of avenues of enquiry including evidence for birth, education, socialization, play, burial treatment, domestic and commercial labour contributions and production. A number of fundamental questions are addressed, in particular whether or not it is possible to see processes of gender and age in the archaeological record, and if so, what theoretical and methodological frameworks can be employed in such a study. The application of gender and age theory to the extant body of archaeological material suggests that both gender and age were distinct social processes that were linked to – but separate from – other cultural interactions such as status, wealth and ethnicity. Other fundamental questions addressed here included how such approaches can add to our understanding of societies in the past by highlighting how these processes changed over time, space and place.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Keywords: Gender; Age; Visibility; Archaeology; Women and Children; Ireland; 700-1200 AD;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts,Celtic Studies and Philosophy > History
    Item ID: 4067
    Depositing User: IR eTheses
    Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2013 17:19
    URI:

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