Care in the Past (Paperback)
Archaeological and Interdisciplinary Perspectives
Care-giving is an activity that has been practiced by all human societies. From the earliest societies through to the present, all humans have faced choices regarding how people in positions of dependency are to be treated. As such, care-giving, and the form it takes, is a central experience of being a human and one that is culturally mediated. Archaeology has tended to marginalise the study of care, and debates surrounding our ability to recognise it within the archaeological record have often remained implicit rather than a focus of discussion.
In order to address this, the 12 papers in this volume bring together archaeological, historical, and philosophical perspectives to examine the topic of care in past societies, and how we might recognise the provision of care in archaeological contexts. The topic of care is examined through three different strands: care throughout the life course, namely that provided to the youngest and oldest members of society; care-giving and attitudes towards impairment and disability; and the role of animals as both recipients of care and as tools for its provision.