Degree Date



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology


The current study considers Athenian childhood through images on Attic vases, plaques, and votive reliefs. A six-stage model of childhood development – newborn to adolescence – was designed to appraise the ages of children. This new model allows for more precise age determination, especially for the youngest children (birth to three years). In contrast to previous studies, emphasis is placed on the younger developmental stages (Stages I-III), focusing on acquired motor skills and biological changes that all healthy children attain. The first two analytical chapters concern depictions of family scenes that include a significant number of children. While Chapter 2 analyzes funerary and lamentation scenes on vases and plaques, Chapter 3 deals with commemorations of a family visit to a sanctuary as shown on votive reliefs. These images are discussed by age group, using the model for the six developmental stages and with respect to the locations of children, their positions within the scene and, more generally, their interactions with adults in order to discern patterns of placement. Although funerary and dedication scenes tend to follow their own individual compositions, it holds true for both that age, dependency level, and gender of a child influences his or her placement within these scenes, indicating male and female spheres. Similar criteria are used in Chapter 4 to analyze a third group of family scenes, namely vase-paintings with children at play in different settings. They suggest that indoor scenes were reserved for the youngest children of either gender. The development and upbringing of Satyr children, as presented on Attic vases, is discussed in Chapter 5 and includes comparisons to their human counterparts. Examinations

reveal that Satyr children follow similar developmental stages as humans and that both learn their adult behavior through imitation and observation as they participate in their own specific activities. The final analytical chapter, Chapter 6, studies depictions of children on Attic vases within a contextual framework. More specifically, it discerns whether the representations of children on Attic vases associated with male users, such as kraters and kylikes, and those associated with female users, such as epinetra and pyxides, differ significantly.