Children and Ceramic Innovation: A Study in the Archaeology of Children



Studies of the archaeological remains of children's activities have the potential to inform us not only on the lives of children but also on the lives of those around them. In this essay, I examine a class of artifacts that highlights the interactive and transformative nature of learning within prehistoric Huron society. This class of artifacts, juvenile pots, has typically been attributed to children but then summarily ignored. Stylistic analysis of these artifacts is used to address the question of whether children were innovators in prehistoric Huron society. Temporal changes in the decorative motifs applied to juvenile pots indicate that Huron children were active participants in a network of intergenerational learning/teaching interactions and in the process of creating stylistic change.