NIAS Public Lecture: "Looking at the young ones: Bioarchaeological investigation of children and childhood in the past" by Dr. Neha Dhavale,

National Institute of Advanced Studies

Indian Institute of Science Campus, Bengaluru 560012


Cordially invites you to a






 “Looking at the young ones: Bioarchaeological investigation

of children and childhood in the past”




Dr. Neha Dhavale

Post-Doctoral Associate, Department of Archaeology

Deccan College Postgraduate & Research Institute, Pune


Chairperson :  Dr. S Udayakumar, NIAS


Date:               Friday, December 20, 2019

Time:              11.30 AM

Venue:            Lecture Hall, NIAS


Abstract:- It was only in the late 1970s, during the Post-processual phase in Archaeology when women and along with them, children, were slowly incorporated as important subjects that could contribute to archaeological interpretations. Since then, children have been considered instrumental in addressing some important questions in archaeological research particularly focusing on biocultural stress in past populations. Childhood growth is now considered to be a biomarker of overall health of populations. Today, public health research on developmental origins and ‘first 1000 days of life’ emphasizes the importance of childhood experience in shaping overall adult health of a given population (Agosti et al., 2017; Barker, 2004, 2007; Gluckman& Hanson, 2006). Of late, the application of stable isotope analysis has seen enormous improvement in tracking early infant feeding and childhood dietary patterns in past populations (Ash et al., 2016; Beaumont et al., 2013, 2018; Gugora et al, 2018; King et al., 2017). This talk highlights how bioarchaeology of children can address questions in the Indian archaeological context using both osteological and biochemical approaches to reconstruct the past.


About the Speaker:- Dr Neha Dhavale is currently working as a postdoc investigating dietary record and biocultural stress in Prehistoric India, particularly focusing on early infant and childhood feeding practices. She completed her PhD in 2017 from the University of Otago in New Zealand in Biological Anthropology. Her doctoral research aimed at understanding the biological impact of subsistence transition to agriculture on infant and childhood growth and development at the prehistoric site of Ban Non Wat, located in the Upper Mun River Valley (NE Thailand). She is engaged as a visiting faculty at the Dept of Archaeology (Centre of Extra Mural Studies, Mumbai University). She is interested in adopting newer techniques and expanding the scope of Archaeological sciences in India. Apart from archaeological research, her interest also lies in biocultural anthropology investigating developmental origins of disease, as well as the impacts of social and cultural factors on health and adaptation in living communities.



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For further information, please contact Dr. S Udayakumar    


Friday, December 20, 2019
Organised by: 
Heritage Science and Society Programme
NIAS Lecture Hall