Tag Archives: birth

What did prehistoric people know about conception?

Even today, stories of women who gave birth without knowing they were pregnant make the news occasionally. Although I do not normally follow such sensationalist news, they do not cease to fascinate me. Yes, it is possible, despite the tell-tale … Continue reading

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Motherhood and marginality

Last week, I attended the workshop The End of the Spectrum: Towards an Archaeology of Marginality at UCL London, organized by my lovely colleague Elisa Perego. The marginality network is especially interested in social exclusion in present and past societies. … Continue reading

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Embryotomy – Fetotomy

If you are squeamish, you may want to skip this blog post. For those of you, who love gruesome stories, here you are: Not too long ago I reported on the origins of the C-section in this blog post. Meanwhile, … Continue reading

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The gruesome origins of the C-section

For a while now I have been collecting archaeological evidence for pregnant women of the Iron Age, as I proposed to speak on this topic at an Iron Age conference in November. As it turns out, graves of pregnant women … Continue reading

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Prehistoric child spacing

All parents who would like a sibling for their children probably wonder about the best time to enlarge their family. Today, we can chose to have children close together or spaced apart; the former approach ensures the children have playmates … Continue reading

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Eating the placenta: would you like yours raw, medium or well done?

BBC health recently entertained me with the headline ‘Eating your placenta does not bring health benefits’. I was glad to hear that. Although I never considered eating my placentas, I felt a little cheated after my own births because I … Continue reading

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Giving birth in the Iron Age

Neither historical records nor image sources illustrate what life was like for much of human prehistory. From the early Iron Age in Central Europe (c.800-400 BC), however, human representations capture some snapshots of the lives of the elite. As I … Continue reading

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