Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Anthropology

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, 34 pages) : illustrations (some color)

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Sean Rafferty

Committee Members

Christopher Wolff


Abuse, Archaeology, Bioarchaeology, Child, Child abuse, Children, Human remains (Archaeology), Wounds and injuries, Excavations (Archaeology), Social archaeology

Subject Categories

History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology | Other Anthropology


Children have been a widely ignored subject in archaeology so it follows that child abuse has not been studied in detail in the archaeological context. This paper combines both forensic anthropology studies and Bioarchaeological studies to see if child abuse is a modern phenomenon. Signs of both non-accidental trauma and neglect have been documented by authors in the archaeological record. The purpose of this paper will be to describe signs of both nonaccidental trauma and neglect. Then examples in archaeological studies will be reviewed. The future of the study of abuse in the archaeological context is also discussed at some length. Can child abuse truly be detected in the archaeological context?