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Only half lived past the age of ten

It is estimated that only half of all children lived past the age of ten. The other half died early due to injuries and sickness. Many of the children who died at the age of five or older were given their own grave.

The written sources say that the childhood years were not valued or seen as a special period in life. In reality, the distance between the child’s world and the adult world was small.

The children joined in everywhere and contributed to the work on the farm, to the best of their ability. But in the myths, selected children sometimes took on a special role and were described as small adults with supernatural powers.

Several child graves contain the same kind of objects as the graves of adults – though often of smaller size. This suggests that gender roles and norms applied to children at an early age.

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Beads

  Beads

Whetstone pendant

  Whetstone pendant

Bell

  Bell

Knife

  Knife

Key

  Key

Clay pot

  Clay pot

Tortoise brooch

  Tortoise brooch

Equal-armed brooch

  Equal-armed brooch

Beads

  Beads

Beads

  Beads

Beads

  Beads

Ring-headed pin

  Ring-headed pin

Button

  Button

Belt purse

  Belt purse

Knife

  Knife

Clay pot

  Clay pot

Coin pendant

  Coin pendant

Coin pendant

  Coin pendant