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Children playing and learning: Crafting ceramics in ancient Indor Khera
, S. Varma
Published in University of Hawaii Press
Volume: 49
Issue: 1
Pages: 85 - 109
It is only in the recent decade that distinct archaeological studies on children have emerged. One of the ways in which children have been made archaeologically visible has been in the context of craft and learning frameworks where they have been perceived as active agents in the production of material culture. Archaeologically, the work of novice crafters can be discerned through attributes of small size, asymmetrical forms, and other deficiencies in manufacturing techniques suggesting inadequate conceptual frames as well as less developed physical skills. The deposits recovered during the excavations in the northwestern part of the ancient site of Indor Khera have been dated between 200 b.c. and a.d. 300. The excavations have revealed in an early phase a potter's house within and around which several miniature vessels with similar characteristics were found, perhaps the work of children. Further, numerous tiny terracotta and clay lumps indicate that to begin children might have been given small bits of clay to play with. It appears that the ceramic craft may have involved a gradual learning process that included play, observation, and experimentation. © 2011 by the University of Hawai'i Press.
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