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Mummified Inca Child Sacrifices

The top photograph shows the mummified remains of the 15-year-old Inca child, known as the "Llullaillaco Maiden," who was sacrificed with two other children, a boy of seven years old, shown in the photograph below, and a six-year-old girl, whose mummy had been struck by lightning and was charred. The children had walked or been brought to the top of Mt.

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Child Labor at La Rinconada

This photograph is of a boy between 6-10 years of age who works in the La Rinconada gold mine in the mountainous region of Peru. La Rinconada is the highest gold mine in the world, 5,500 meters above sea level in the Andes, and under a glacier, and its camp is populated by about 20,000 people who live under economically exploitative and impoverished conditions.

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Thumbnail image of olmec baby figurine

Olmec Ceramic Baby Figurine

This baby figurine of a pudgy toddler is one of many similar examples of ceramic sculptures of infants belonging to an ancient Mesoamerican ceramic tradition that flourished during the first millennium B.C.E. The figurines are hollow and often nearly life-sized (about 25 to 35 cm, or 10 – 14 inches high), made of white kaolin clay, or ordinary clay covered with white slip.

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M. Cornelius Statius

Death is part of every society, but the rituals and objects surrounding death have varied across centuries and continents. They can often reveal many things about the role of children and families within a culture, from the nature of grieving to representations of childhood, from artistic preferences to child rearing norms.

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Child’s Life Course

Death is part of every society, but the rituals and objects surrounding death have varied across centuries and continents. They can often reveal many things about the role of children and families within a culture, from the nature of grieving to representations of childhood, from artistic preferences to child rearing norms.

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Thumbnail of drawing of gin lane

Gin Lane (1751)

This is one of the best-known prints by the famous artist, William Hogarth. He designed it to support the British government's attempt to regulate the price and popularity of drinking gin (known as Geneva) in the Gin Act of 1751. The print is accompanied by the following verse:

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Thumbnail of Bill of Mortality

London's Bill of Mortality

During the great outbreak of bubonic plague or black death in the hot summer of 1665 in London, special bills of mortality were issued that listed causes of death. By mid-July over a thousand deaths a week were reported on handbills that were stuck up in public places to warn people that the plague was growing. The rich fled the city but the poor did not have that option and died in droves.

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Thumbnail of painting of 4 children

The Graham Children

This beautiful life-size painting of four children is by William Hogarth, who also specialized in engravings such as Gin Lane. It was commissioned by Daniel Graham, a rich apothecary (pharmacist) to the royal family and to Chelsea Hospital in London. It shows Daniel's three children by his second wife, Mary Crisp, and Mary's daughter, Henrietta, by her first marriage.

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An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae

Edward Jenner (1749-1823) was a physician in rural Gloucestershire. Like Lady Mary Wortley Montagu he learnt of a widely known folk remedy to protect against smallpox. Smallpox cases were increasing in the 18th century and had a mortality rate of 40%. At least 30% of those who survived were left horribly scarred. Smallpox was a disease of children and youth in particular.

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Thumbnail of dance of the dead mural

The Dance of the Dead

Children are not frequent subjects of medieval art, but the figure of the child does occur in a medieval artistic and literary form known as the Danse macabre or Dance of the Dead.

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