The making of infants in Hellenistic and early Roman Italy: a votive perspective

Graham, Emma-Jayne (2013). The making of infants in Hellenistic and early Roman Italy: a votive perspective. World Archaeology, 45(2) pp. 215–231.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00438243.2013.799041

Abstract

Votive deposits from Hellenistic and early Roman central Italy provide valuable evidence for the genuine concerns, fears and hopes of contemporary communities, including experiences and understandings of pregnancy, childbirth and infancy. This paper examines two types of terracotta votive – models of human uteri and swaddled infants – in order to elucidate the significance of the social and religious beginnings of life in ancient Italy. In particular, the study addresses the manner in which these states of being were perceived and produced by both parents and society at large through the treatment of the unborn/newborn body and its representation in the sanctuary.

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