Is It Ritual? Or Is It Children? Distinguishing Consequences of Play from Ritual Actions in the Prehistoric Archaeological Record

Current Anthropology Vol/Iss. 59(5) University of Chicago Press Published In Pages: ??
By Langley, Michelle C., Litster, Mirani


Archaeologists often interpret found portable artifacts (e.g. dolls, miniature weapons) as ritual objects. But it is argued that they might instead reflect children's play activities. This descriptive study analyzes the artifacts and context of children's play using the literature and the ethnographic record of 82 hunter-gatherer societies. Six signs of the presence of children, that might survive in archaeological record are noted, which may suggest that many "ritual activities" are children's activities.

Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:noah.rossen anj.droe