Comparative Perspectives on Colonisation, Maritime Interaction and Cultural Integration - Lene Melheim

Comparative Perspectives on Colonisation, Maritime Interaction and Cultural Integration - Lene Melheim

13. In the Footsteps of the Vikings: Children and Cultural Change

Comparative Perspectives on Colonisation, Maritime Interaction and Cultural Integration - Lene Melheim

Dawn Hadley [+-]
University of Sheffield,
D.M. Hadley is Professor of Medieval Archaeology at the University of Shef eld, and previously taught medieval history at the Universities of Leeds and Birmingham. Her research focuses on aspects of identity in the medieval period, especially ethnicity, masculinity and childhood. She is currently working on Viking over-wintering sites. Address for correspondence: Department of Archaeology, University of Shef eld, Western Bank, Shef eld, S10 2TN, UK. Email: d.m.hadley@shef eld.ac.uk

Description

This paper explores children’s experiences of migration during the Viking Age in the British Isles, drawing on the evidence from written sources, the funerary record, material culture used by children, and new insights from scientific evidence, principally stable isotope data. There is no doubt that children played an important role during the Viking Age in the processes of migration and settlement, and studies of recent migrations by anthropologists and sociologists offer some potentially useful analogies for our understanding of Viking-Age child migrants, highlighting the capacity of children to embrace the opportunities offered by migration. Children can be shown to act as mediators of cultural interaction and assimilation, and may prove better at adapting to language change and creating new networks of acquaintances than adults. By drawing on the insights to be gleaned from analysis of better-understood migrations we can have the confidence to interrogate our Viking-Age evidence afresh, and in turn ask fundamental questions about the broad social processes that are central to the scholarly literature on migration − including acculturation, ethnogenesis and conversion − all of which are routinely discussed purely with reference to adults. In seeking to render children as agents of past social change we can hope to develop more nuanced narratives of migration.

Notify A Colleague

Citation

Hadley, Dawn . 13. In the Footsteps of the Vikings: Children and Cultural Change. Comparative Perspectives on Colonisation, Maritime Interaction and Cultural Integration. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 253-270 Dec 2016. ISBN 9781781790489. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=24611. Date accessed: 17 Jun 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.24611. Dec 2016

Dublin Core Metadata