Above and below the surface: Environment, work, death, and upbringing in sixteenth- to seventeenth- century Sweden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


This chapter addresses children’s lives and living conditions during the early modern period in Sweden. A case study on the population at one of Sweden’s most important historical mines, the Sala Silver mine forms the basis for a discussion about children’s work, their diets, and how gender roles and social status may have affected their health. Two sources provide complementing and sometimes contradicting information about how children’s lives were shaped: the bioarchaeological material (skeletons and graves) and historical sources (archival material). The historical sources show that children were important economic actors in the mining community, and the bioarchaeological material indicates that their health was affected by the socioeconomic status of their families, as well as the unsanitary living and working conditions at the site.


External organisations
  • Uppsala University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Archaeology


  • Bioarchaeology, Cemetery, Childhood, Diet, Environment, Labour, Mining, Nutrition, Sweden
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Childhood
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9780199670697
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch