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Title: Ageing and the Body in Archaeology
Authors: Appleby, Jo
First Published: 28-Sep-2017
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP) for McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Citation: Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 2018, 28 (1), pp. 145-163 (19)
Abstract: The old are rarely the focus of research in archaeology. Older skeletonized bodies are hard to give a chronological age, and this seems to justify the lack of research focus. In this paper I argue that the old are not naturally invisible to archaeologists, but have been made so by a focus on chronology at the expense of the bodily and by our ambivalence towards the ageing process. I suggest that, rather than applying numbers to skeletons, we should focus our research on understanding the ageing of the body itself in archaeological contexts, and the relationships between processes of continuity and processes of decline. This is achieved through analysis of four aspects of embodied ageing: changes in appearance; in bodily function; in age-related disease; and in skill. The ageing body is not invisible: it is present, variable and a rich resource for future archaeological analyses.
DOI Link: 10.1017/S0959774317000610
ISSN: 0959-7743
eISSN: 1474-0540
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2017, Cambridge University Press (CUP) for McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. Deposited with reference to the publisher’s open access archiving policy. (
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Archaeology and Ancient History

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