In which goats frolic, pipes masquerade as baskets and camels do whatever it is that camels do.

Taking a break from our recent musings on society, smells and legacies, this week’s post features another selection of artefacts from the archives. All of these were found on the same site in Christchurch’s central business district over the last few weeks. Enjoy!

Glass lamp

How lovely is this? It’s the (nearly complete) base from a finger lamp. It would have originally had a glass chimney on the top, attached with a copper/brass fitting or burner, looking a bit like this. Image: J. Garland.

Plate with ... pattern

Saucer decorated with scenic pattern, Geneva, similar to the Lucerne patterned plate we featured a few weeks ago. Image: J. Garland.

Marble

A large glass marble, with swirl of coloured glass inside. Image: J. Garland.

DSC_4705ed1

The fragments of another children’s plate, similar to others that we’ve found. Image: J. Garland.

Goats!

Goats! Frolicking! This pattern is, aptly enough, titled “Goat” and seems to be associated with Scottish pottery manufacturer James Jamieson & Co and the Bo’ness (Barrowstouness) Pottery in the Central Lowlands (1829-1855). Image: J. Garland.

And camels!

And camels! Image: J. Garland.

Some patterned pipe bowls, including two with a 'basket weave' motif.

Some patterned pipe bowls, including two with a ‘basket weave’ motif. Image: J. Garland.

A ceramic egg. Eggs like this were used to encourage hens to lay in the nest, rather than elsewhere. Image: J. Garland.

A ceramic egg. Eggs like this were used to encourage hens to lay in the nest, rather than elsewhere. Image: J. Garland.

A small porcelain figurine, tragically missing it's head. Image: J. Garland.

A small porcelain figurine, tragically missing its head. Image: J. Garland.

 

Archaeology: where losing your marbles is sometimes a good thing

Imagine, if you will, that you were born in 1870. Your parents are colonists who journeyed to Christchurch to build a new life for themselves and their family. They’re not rich, but you live comfortably enough in this new country. As an infant, you survive the many dangers of your time and, eventually, you grow old enough to play with other children of your age.

You participate in a variety of children’s games, from ‘kiss-in-the-ring’ to rounders or ‘jolly miller’, but the ones you love best, your absolute favourites, are those played with marbles. You have your own collection, mostly made up of ‘commies’ (cheap clay marbles), but with a few treasured German glass marbles. You even end up with a couple of glass ones stolen from some Codd soda bottles that you found outside, but you lose them when you play for keeps against the children from the next street over. And, maybe, over the years, you misplace a few marbles from your collection, accidentally rolling them under a building or dropping them between the floorboards. And there they’ll stay, long after you’ve grown to be an adult and left childhood games behind you, until a curious archaeologist finds them in the dirt a century and a half later.

An 1897 cartoon of grown men playing at rounders and kiss-in-the-ring. Image:

An 1897 cartoon of grown men playing at rounders and kiss-in-the-ring. Image: Observer 27/3/1897: 12.

Marbles are actually quite rare finds here in Christchurch, surprisingly for something so easily lost. We’ve talked before about how the lives of children, especially their lives at play, can be so difficult to see in the archaeological record, making those few marbles we do find as precious to us now as they were to their original owners. We’re beginning to recover quite a variety of different types here in the city as excavations continue, from small clay (earthenware) ‘commies’, to coloured glass marbles and larger earthenware and porcelain examples.

A selection of marbles found on an archaeological site in Christchurch. Image: L. Davies .

A selection of marbles found on an archaeological site in Christchurch. Image: L. Davies .

Commies were one of the cheapest and most readily available types of marble around during the 19th century and were made from unglazed earthenware. From the mid-18th century until 1859, when a mechanised shaping process was introduced, they would have been hand crafted, probably in Europe or America (Gartley & Carskadden 1998: 49-50).Other marbles were made from glazed clay, porcelain or agate (known sometimes as ‘aggies’). During the latter half of the 19th century, handmade glass marbles became increasingly common, as manufacture became easier, although they weren’t mass produced until the turn of the century (Schrock 2004: 124).

Many of these marbles, especially the glass and stone ones, were made in Germany during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. One 1901 account in the New Zealand Herald describes in detail the process by which workers in Germany used the marble and agate debris from quarries to create stone marbles (New Zealand Herald 28/2/1901: 20). The East German region of Lauscha was also renowned for its production of glass marbles, thanks in part to glassmaker Elias Greiner’s creation of ‘marble scissors’ in 1846. First used to create glass eyes for dolls, these scissors meant the glassmaker could cut and shape the ends of a glass rod into marbles relatively easily (Baumann 2004).

A 1901 description of marble manufacture in Germany. Image:

A 1901 description of marble manufacture in Germany. Image: New Zealand Tablet 28/2/1901: 29

A sketch of boys playing a game of marbles. Image:

A sketch of boys playing a game of marbles. Image: New Zealand Herald  27/10/1945: 4.

These marbles would all have been used to play a variety of different games, most of which involved trying to hit an opponent’s marbles or knock them out of play (i.e. ringers or ‘ring taw’) or attempting to shoot marbles through obstacles or into holes. Most of these would have been played outside in the Victorian era, on the street or in the yard of a house or school (Taranaki Herald 15/3/1886: 2). While many advertisements and anecdotes found in newspapers of the time suggest that most games were played by boys (New Zealand Tablet 28/2/1901: 29, Star 21/4/1876: 3), it seems that girls also participated. One newspaper from 1878 speaks specifically of an indoor marbles board designed for girls to use, which involved attempting to shoot marbles into certain circles or triangles by striking them with a mallet (Otago Witness 21/1/1878: 2).

An 1878 advertisement for an indoor marbles board, targeted at girls. Image:

An 1878 advertisement for an indoor marbles board, targeted at girls. Image: Otago Witness 28/1/1878: 2.

Of course, games were not the only use found for marbles. They were also used as ammunition, as schoolyard currency and, apparently, in Wales, some people thought them good for eating…Now, they are as much collector’s items as they are toys, although people still play many of the games as a sport. The British and World Marbles Championship is still held in Tinsley Green, in West Sussex, England, every year, as it has been for centuries (New Zealand Herald 16/4/1938: 33).

To an archaeologist, though, marbles are information. They’re a glimpse of those who are so often unseen in the archaeological record, evidence of a part of life – play – that is obscured behind the more utilitarian day-to-day artefacts we usually find. They’re little pieces of a childhood that were misplaced, but never quite completely lost.

Jessie Garland

References

Baumann, P., 2004. Collecting Antique Marbles: identification and price guide. Krause Publications, Wisconsin.

Gartley, R. & Carskadden, J., 1998. Colonial Period and Early 19th Century Children’s Toy Marbles. The Muskingham Valley Archaeological Survey, Ohio.

New Zealand Herald. [online] Available at www.paperspast.natlib.govt.nz

New Zealand Tablet [online] Available at www.paperspast.natlib.govt.nz

Observer [online] Available at www.paperspast.natlib.govt.nz

Otago Witness. [online] Available at www.paperspast.natlib.govt.nz

Schrock, J., 2004. The Gilded Age. Greenwood Publishing Group, Portsmouth.

Star [online] Available at www.paperspast.natlib.govt.nz

Taranaki Herald [online] Available at www.paperspast.natlib.govt.nz

Oh, you pretty things!

Today for your viewing pleasure, we present a selection of interesting, unusual and aesthetically pleasing ceramics from Christchurch sites. Enjoy!

This lovely plate was made by Thomas Dimmock and sons, who operated from 1828 to 1859 in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

First up! This lovely plate was made by Thomas Dimmock & Co, who operated from 1828 to 1859 in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. The impressed maker’s mark features the Dimmock & Co monogram and the label ‘pearl ware’. Although the pearl ware designation references a type of white bodied earthenware pottery popular in the first half of the 19th century, it has been suggested that its use as a label is not always accurate and may indicate a later, post c. 1845 date of manufacture (Brooks 2005: 31). The pattern itself, with its Classical themes, is fairly typical of that mid-century period.  Image: J. Garland.

This plate fragment, decorated with the Vignette pattern, was also made by Thomas Dimmock & Sons (evident from the D in the maker's mark and the imprinted initials), dating its manufacture to the same 1828-1859 period. Image: J. Garland.

This plate fragment, decorated with the Vignette pattern, was also made by Thomas Dimmock & Sons (evident from the D in the maker’s mark and the impressed monogram), dating its manufacture to the same 1828-1859 period. The same pattern has been found in other New Zealand archaeological sites, including green examples found during the Street family homestead excavations in Taranaki (Adamson &  Bader 2008: 82) Image: J. Garland.

A side plate transfer printed with the 'Lucerne' pattern. This plate was made by ....

A side plate transfer printed with the ‘Lucerne’ pattern. This plate was made by J W. Pankhurst & Co, Staffordshire potters who were in business from 1850 until 1882. The pattern has been described as a ‘typical romantic scene’, of the type popular during the 19th century (Coysh & Henrywood 1982: 232). Image: J. Garland.

A small cup, printed with the words "A PRESENT FOR MY DEAR GIRL" and a rabbit motif. Image: J. Garland

A small cup (probably for a child), printed with the words ‘A PRESENT FOR MY DEAR GIRL’ and a rabbit motif. Children’s cups like this one were common in the 19th century and featured all kinds of designs and statements (some more appropriate than others).  Image: J. Garland

A side plate, decorated with the Cable pattern and made by Pinder Bourne & Co (1862-1882).

A side plate, decorated with the Cable pattern and made by Pinder, Bourne & Co (1862-1882; Godden 1964: 495). Interestingly, this is the second variation of the ‘Cable’ pattern we’ve come across. Image: J. Garland.

Part of a chamberpot decorated with a picnic scene. Image: J. Garland.

This chamber pot fragment is decorated with the ‘May Morn’ pattern, and was likely made by J & M. P. Bell & Co, a Glasgow pottery firm in operation from 1848-1928. The interior rim of the chamber pot is also decorated, with a wide border of hawthorn (Coysh & Henrywood 1982: 241). Image: J. Garland.

This piece is particularly interesting, marked as it is with 'Sydenham House, Christchurch' on the base, along with the name of the manufacturer (Copeland) and pattern registration diamond. Image: J. Garland.

This piece is particularly interesting, marked as it is with ‘Sydenham House, Christchurch’ on the base, along with the name of the manufacturer (Copeland) and pattern registration diamond. The registration diamond indicates that this pattern was registered in 1861 (R in the top corner), on the 17th or 27th (number in right corner) of September (D in the left corner). Most interestingly of all, though, Sydenham House refers to a shop operated by Charles Prince in the 1860s that sold, among other things, crockery and fine china. And, according to this 1864 advertisement, that china included pieces made by the Copeland pottery. Sydenham House also provided the inspiration for the naming of the Sydenham Borough (now the suburb of Sydenham) in the 1870s . Image: J. Garland.

Something about pattern..... Image: J. Garland

A plate decorated with the ‘Eton College’ pattern, depicting a man, woman and child in front of a lake or river, with a building in the distance. It’s not clear if the building was actually intended to be Eton College or not. Known manufacturers of this pattern include Edward & George Phillips (1822-34), George Phillips (1834-48), Nicholson & Wood (pre-1854) and George F. Smith (1855-60), although it is likely to have been made by many other potters (Coysh & Henrywood Vol 1: 130; Godden 1964). Image: J. Garland.

Unknown pattern, but pretty.

A bowl decorated with an unidentified classical pattern, featuring a classically decorated urn within a mountainous (and non-British) landscape in the background. Unfortunately, no maker’s mark was found on this vessel, leaving both the maker and pattern unknown. Image: J. Garland.

This J. J. & Co plate is decorated with the delightfully named Spangle pattern. The plate dates to....

This J. J. & Co plate is decorated with the delightfully named ‘Spangle’ pattern. The plate dates from c. 1870-1887 and was made by the firm of J. Jackson & Co, potters at the Holmes Pottery in Yorkshire (Godden 1964: 349). Image: J. Garland.

A set of three saucers and at least one teacup, decorated with..... Image: J. Garland.

More classical motifs! These three saucers and tea cup all feature the same, unknown pattern and, again, had no maker’s marks with which we could identify the manufacturer. Image: J. Garland.

This saucer, decorated with the Foliage pattern, was made by Pinder, Bourne & Co (1862-1882). Image: J. Garland.

This saucer, decorated with the Foliage pattern, was made by Pinder, Bourne & Co (1862-1882; Godden 1964: 495). Image: J. Garland.

We found the same pattern (made by the same potters) on another vessel from the same feature, only in green this time. Image: J. Garland.

We found the same pattern (made by the same potters) on another vessel from the same feature, only in green. Image: J. Garland.

Side plate decorated with the Doric pattern and made by the Davenport Pottery of Staffordshire. Seems to date to c. 1815-1850. Image: J. Garland.

Moving away from the elaborate scenic and floral central motifs, this side plate is decorated very simply with the ‘Doric’ pattern. The plate was made by the Davenport Pottery of Staffordshire and seems to date to c. 1830-1860 (Coysh & Henrywood 1982: 102; Godden 1964: 190). Image: J. Garland.

Decorated with the Chantilly pattern and made by ...

And last, but not least, another delightfully named pattern. This ‘Chantilly’ (which makes me think of this) decorated soup plate was made by Francis Morely & Co, Staffordshire potters in business from 1845-1858 (Godden 1964: 449). Image: J. Garland.

Jessie Garland

References

Adamson, J. & Bader, H-D. 2008. Archaeological Excavation Report on the Street Homestead, Penrod Drive, Bell Block, Taranaki.  Unpublished Report prepared by Geometria Ltd.

Brooks, A., 2005. An Archaeological Guide to British Ceramics in Australia 1788-1901. Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology and the La Trobe University Archaeology Program, Sydney & Melbourne.

Coysh, A. W. & Henrywood, R. K., 1982. The Dictionary of Blue and White Printed Pottery, 1780-1880, Vol 1. Antique Collectors Club, Suffolk.

Coysh, A. W. & Henrywood, R. K., 1989. The Dictionary of Blue and White Printed Pottery, 1780-1880, Vol. 2. Antique Collectors Club, Suffolk.

Godden, G., 1964. Encyclopaedia of British Pottery & Porcelain Marks. Herbert Jenkins, London.

The Potteries, 2014. [online] Available at www.thepotteries.org

A few of our favourite things…

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been excavating a site in the CBD that’s yielded some of the most interesting artefacts we’ve see for a while. So, today on the blog, we’ve selected a few of these fascinating things for your viewing pleasure. Clay pipes, candlesticks, pepper shakers and bowler hats: scroll down for a veritable feast of pictorial splendour! Or something along those lines.

A bowler hat! This hat is made of felt and may have been worn by either a man or a woman (women used to wear hats like these with riding outfits in the lat 19th century). If you look very closely at the rim of the hat, you can see the remnants of the ribbon trim that once decorated it. Image: J. Garland.

First up, a bowler hat! This hat is made of felt and may have been worn by either a man or a woman (women used to wear hats like these with riding outfits in the late 19th century). If you look very closely at the rim of the hat, you can see the remnants of the ribbon trim that once decorated it. Image: J. Garland.

A lovely brass candlestick (used by Colonel mustard in the library, perhaps...). We think that the pieces of fabric stuck to the metal are just the remnants of the wrapping it was thrown out in, rather than a functional or decorative part of the candlestick itself. There's even a candle stub still visible inside the holder, near the base. Image: J. Garland

A lovely brass candlestick (used by Colonel Mustard in the library, perhaps…).The pieces of fabric stuck to the metal are  probably just the remnants of the wrapping it was thrown out in, rather than a functional or decorative part of the candlestick itself. There’s even a candle stub still visible inside the holder, near the base. Image: J. Garland

This lovely little saucer is decorated with a Chinese motif, known as 'Chang'. It appears to show one man cooking, while another stands around smoking a pipe. Not such an unfamiliar scene, is it? Image: J. Garland.

This lovely little saucer is decorated with a Chinese motif, known as ‘Chang’. It appears to show one man cooking, while another stands around smoking a pipe. Not such an unfamiliar scene, is it? Image: J. Garland.

This is really, really cool. This clay tobacco pipe appears to have been made locally, here in Christchurch, by or for the Trent Brothers. The Trent brothers were coffee, flax and chicory merchants based in Christchurch in the second half of the 19th century. The lovely people over at the Lost Christchurch blog have an excellent series of posts on the brothers and their business.  As far as we're aware, no other pipes like this one have been found before in New Zealand.  Image: J. Garland.

This is really, really cool. This clay tobacco pipe has a local connection, being made by or for the Trent Brothers, Christchurch. The Trent brothers (Frederick and James) were coffee, flax and chicory merchants based in Christchurch in the second half of the 19th century. The lovely people over at the Lost Christchurch blog have an excellent series of posts on the brothers and their business. As far as we’re aware, no other pipes like this one have been found before in New Zealand. Image: J. Garland.

We found another New Zealand branded pipe at this site, this time stamped with the mark of Twentyman & Cousins. Messrs Twentyman & Cousins (wonderful names!) were Christchurch retailers

Surprisngly, we found another New Zealand branded pipe at this site, this time stamped with the mark of Twentyman & Cousin. Messrs Twentyman & Cousin (wonderful names!) were Christchurch retailers originally based in Cathedral Square. In the 1880s they moved to new premises at what is now 93 Cashel Street, into a building designed by renowned architect B. W. Mountfort (Press 17/06/1882:1). Image: J. Garland.

This Willow patterned salt/pepper shaker is a surprisingly unusual find: they're not often found in Christchurch's archaeological sites. It's one of my personal favourites from this assemblage. Image: J. Garland

This transfer printed salt/pepper shaker is a surprisingly unusual find: they’re not often found in Christchurch’s archaeological sites. It’s one of my personal favourites from this assemblage. Image: J. Garland

A pig snout gin bottle with a prunt or blob seal on the shoulder.

A pig snout gin bottle with an anchor decorated prunt or blob seal on the shoulder. Seals like these were most common in the first half of the 1800s, although they were still being added to bottles at the end of the century (usually to gin bottles like this one). This particular prunt is embossed with ‘Van Dulken Weiland & Co/ Rotterdam’, well-known 19th century Dutch gin manufacturers. Image: J. Garland.

A child's plate! We've featured plates like this before on the blog, although none quite like this one. It reads "...in passing along they beheld on the ground/ ... man stretch'd along in a sleep most profound". Image:  J. Garland

A child’s plate! We’ve featured plates like this before on the blog, although none quite like this one. It reads “…in passing along they beheld on the ground / … man stretch’d along in a sleep most profound”. Image: J. Garland

And to finish….

These gorgeous shoes are in excellent condition. The adult size one (top)

Shoes! We’ve found a surprisingly large number of shoes (adult and child size) and fabric artefacts from this site, all in fairly good condition. Both the child sized shoe (bottom) and adult lace up shoe shown here (top) are among the only examples we’ve found with the complete upper portion of the shoe intact. Usually, we’re only recovering heels and soles. Aren’t they gorgeous!  Images: J. Garland.

Jessie Garland

The Victorian Christchurch Child

Childhood. We all had one. Whether we remember it vaguely or with clarity, we all passed through this phase of life. As infants we shook that baby rattle with all our might or nursed that pacifier until our eyes closed and we dreamed of a faraway land. As we got older the toys became larger and more creative: teddy bears with a squeak in the stomach or crayons that ended up strewn across the house or even on the walls. We all remember the Barbie dolls and the G.I. Joes, or the Barbie dolls with crew cuts to make them look like G.I. Joes. Or even that first day of school where you were accompanied by your very own yellow Bananas in Pyjamas lunch box. This period of one’s life, although so fundamental in how we mature as adults, is often forgotten. This is also true of the Victorian Christchurch child.

As a result of the February 2011 earthquake and the subsequent rebuild, a number of artefacts related to the years of childhood have been excavated. This collection of artefacts provide us not only a rare glimpse into the lives of the Victorian Christchurch child but is now allowing us to establish how different artefacts relate to different stages of a child’s life.

A selection of children’s artefacts. Image G. Jackson.

A selection of children’s artefacts. Image G. Jackson.

Archaeological investigations regarding children in their first few years of life have often been restricted to analysis of infant mortality or mortuary practices and rarely touch on their lived experiences (and even historical documents are not much more helpful: simply looking up ‘Christchurch Child’ on Papers Past was a challenge, for almost all searches came up with child mortality stories). The sites that have been excavated across Christchurch provide an opportunity to catalogue this brief but important time in one’s life.

Infant-related artefacts are largely related to a baby’s health. These include health-benefiting bone marrow, baby powders and medicinal disinfectants designed to prevent against illness. The largest number of artefacts relating to the infant years, however, are glass feeder bottles and ceramic feeder lids.

baby bottle2


S. Maw, Son and Thompson baby feeder. Image: L. Davies.

rounded bottle


S. Maw, Son and Thompson baby feeder. Image: L. Davies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One such item was even named the ‘murder‘ feeder, due to the difficulty of cleaning the lid. Such hygiene-related difficulties meant that baby easily fell ill, but this problem may have been counteracted by disinfectants, medicines or simple homemade remedies (some of which have a recommended child’s dosage).

bottlefeeder


Left: Mather’s ceramic baby feeder (Image: L. Davies). Right: Advertisement emphasising the need to clean the baby’s bottle (Otago Witness 15/02/1879).

 

The development and emergence of the Victorian Christchurch citizen, as with any society, was shaped by what was taught to children. A common theme that has emerged from the material culture of Christchurch are the children’s cups and plates bearing educational-themed images, which can increase imagination and creativity but also conveyed moral messages.

photo2


Jack and Jill nursery rhyme on a cup. Image: L. Davies.

Nursery rhymes, playful one-liners and intense moral teachings have all been found on china in our Christchurch assemblages. Nursery rhymes or a simple play on words to create a small story are used as a subtle tool to stimulate the imagination and intellectual growth. Children learn language through the repetition of syllables and words, often repeating what a parent said (Bishop and Curtis 2001: 5). And with moral messages buried in the phrases, children also learnt socially acceptable behaviour. In a fun way, that is.

 

One plate found is an ‘ABC’ plate, named for the alphabet written around the outer edge of the plate. These ABC plates were a product of the teachings of Dr. Benjamin Franklin. Yes, that Benjamin Franklin. During the 19th century, a series of plates were sold bearing philosophical teachings from his Poor Richard’s Almanack. Our particular plate bears the phrase  “Fly pleasures, and they’ll follow you. The diligent spinner has a large shift, now I have a sheep and cow, everybody bids me good morrow”. It means those who work hard are rewarded in comfort, plenty and respect i.e. that leisure comes to those who work hard.

franklin


Fragment of a Dr. Benjamin Franklin ABC plate. Image: L. Davies.

This phase of nursery rhymes and moral themes was a precursor to schooling days. Prior to the Education Act of 1877 education or schooling for children was not compulsory. In 1877 the Education Act made it compulsory and free for children aged between 5 and 13 to attend school (Walrond 2012).

This did not extend to secondary education and it was not until 1901 that the secondary education was addressed. A law passed at this time stated that only children who passed a competency exam would be allowed entry into secondary school. It is suggested that even those children who may have passed the competency exams would have still left school at this age to work, and why would they go to school when they were another pair of hands to help put food on the table (Walrond 2012)? The artefacts associated with this period of a child’s life are slate pencils and boards. Some boards have ruled lines on one side for writing and grid lines on the reverse side for mathematics.

Slate pencils. Image: L. Davies

Slate pencils. Image: L. Davies

Untitled-1


A grid (left) and lined (right) slate board. Image: L. Davies

A large quantity of toys have been found throughout sites across Christchurch and are indicative of the subtle ways in which social mores were constructed.

'Frozen Charlotte' doll. Image J. Garland

‘Frozen Charlotte’ doll. Image J. Garland.

Girls were presented with dolls and tea sets, confirming their domestic role in the Victorian world, whereas boys played with tin soldiers and marbles, items associated with competition and manliness. It is during this period, when toys are introduced, that we begin to see gender differentiation in the archaeology of childhood. Girls are the most visible at this time with few artefacts that can be unequivocally associated with boys. This is in contrast to adulthood, when men are generally more visible in the archaeological record than women,as so many of our blog posts indicate.

Toy horse. Image K. Bone

Toy horse. Image K. Bone.

Toy tea set. Image. G. Jackson

Toy tea set. Image. G. Jackson.

 

Clay and glass marble. Clay marbles were also called 'commies' as they were a cheap version of marbles and were very common..


Clay and glass marble. Clay marbles were also called ‘commies’ as they were a cheap version of marbles and were very common. Image: K. Bone.

The number of artefacts relating to children found during demolitions and the rebuild of Christchurch has allowed a chronological understanding of the emergence of the Victorian Christchurch child. The infant stage is predominantly represented by feeding bottles, health-benefiting foods and disinfectants. This suggests that in the first few years of life there is no differentiation of gender but an emphasis on raising a healthy child. The following stage, prior to schooling, is also not gendered and includes developing the imagination with rhymes and moral themes. This non-gendered childhood changes with the school years, with girls in particular taking a visible role. The presence of tea sets and dolls emphasise their role in society and society’s expectations of their later life, with themes of domesticity and civility. The recent excavations have significantly developed our understanding of the Victorian Christchurch child and the ongoing investigations will continue to contribute to our understanding of this period, these children and their lived experiences, so watch this space…

Kim Bone

References

Bishop, J. C. and Curtis, M., 2001. Introduction. In:  J. C. Bishop and M. Curtis, eds. 2001. Play Today in the Primary School Playground: Life, Learn and Creativity. Open University Press, Buckingham, pp. 1-19.

Otago Witness. [online] Available at: http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz.

Walrond, C., 2012. Teenagers and youth – defining teenagers as a group.[online] Available at: http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/teenagers-and-youth/page-1 [Accessed 10 October 2013].