Chalk Children: death, love and two 5,000-year-old burials from the Yorkshire Wolds

Joint annual lecture with Welwyn Archaeological Society (in person event)
Dr Neil Wilkin (British Museum)
The United Reform Church Hall, Welwyn Garden City, AL8 6PR
lecture slide


Children are the vital but hard to find voices of deep history. This talk tells the story of a recently excavated grave from Burton Agnes, East Riding of Yorkshire, containing the remains of three small children. The burial also contained a remarkable, decorated, chalk ‘drum’, very like the British Museum’s Folkton Drums (discovered in 1889). New scientific research has allowed the drums to be set within a social, cultural and cosmological context for the first time. The picture that emerges provides a rare, partial but important view of attitudes to children, 'childhood', mortality and kinship at the start of a period of monumental change across Britain and Ireland.