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Sex and the elderly: Attitudes to long-lived women and men in early Anglo-Saxon England

Cave, Christine; Oxenham, Marc

Description

Currently, in the industrialised world, women have a higher life expectancy than men, a pattern often seen in the past as well. However, in Britain, from the Neolithic to medieval period, it has been suggested that men outlived women. One issue with such statistics is that age estimation techniques are often biased, underestimating the age of older individuals, while the oldest individuals in a sample often disappear into catch-all categories such as 50+ years. Here we employ an approach that...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorCave, Christine
dc.contributor.authorOxenham, Marc
dc.date.accessioned2019-11-25T03:49:47Z
dc.identifier.issn0278-4165
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/186588
dc.description.abstractCurrently, in the industrialised world, women have a higher life expectancy than men, a pattern often seen in the past as well. However, in Britain, from the Neolithic to medieval period, it has been suggested that men outlived women. One issue with such statistics is that age estimation techniques are often biased, underestimating the age of older individuals, while the oldest individuals in a sample often disappear into catch-all categories such as 50+ years. Here we employ an approach that renders visible the older individuals in three archaeological cemeteries (Great Chesterford; Mill Hill; Worthy Park) to assess gendered longevity and differential mortuary treatment of the elderly in Anglo-Saxon England. We find that women tended to outlive men and while some elderly females were respected in death, others were more likely to receive a non-normative burial than males. Old males tended to receive 'elaborate' burial, and were less likely to receive a deviant burial. It appears that ageing in Anglo-Saxon England was a gendered process, with some older women respected like their male counterparts, while others were possibly perceived less auspiciously.
dc.description.sponsorshipThis research is supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherAcademic Press
dc.rights© 2017 Elsevier Inc.
dc.sourceJournal of Anthropological Archaeology
dc.subjectAge at death
dc.subjectLife expectancy
dc.subjectGender
dc.subjectCemeteries
dc.subjectAgeing
dc.subjectMortuary analysis
dc.titleSex and the elderly: Attitudes to long-lived women and men in early Anglo-Saxon England
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolume48
dc.date.issued2017
local.identifier.absfor210102 - Archaeological Science
local.identifier.absfor210105 - Archaeology of Europe, the Mediterranean and the Levant
local.identifier.ariespublicationu4351680xPUB34
local.publisher.urlhttps://www.sciencedirect.com/
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationCave, Christine, College of Arts and Social Sciences, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationOxenham, Marc, College of Arts and Social Sciences, ANU
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage207
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage216
local.identifier.doi10.1016/j.jaa.2017.08.003
local.identifier.absseo970121 - Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
dc.date.updated2019-05-19T08:21:34Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-85028715031
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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