Antiquities Exhibit Explores Childhood in Ancient Greece

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At the end of the section are four gravestones of girls and boys who died before their time, a stark reminder that children's mortality rate was considerably higher in antiquity than today. Monuments as these belie the commonly held notion that there was little parent-child bonding in a society with a high infant mortality rate.

Closing the exhibit is a pair of objects signifying the transition to adulthood: the marble statute of a youth on the verge of manhood and a woman's wedding bowl. The wedding marked a girl's transition to womanhood.

John H. Oakley, chair of the department of classical studies at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, and Jenifer Neils, professor in the department of art history and art at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, are the curators of "Coming of Age in Ancient Greece: Images of Childhood from the Classical Past."

Following its stay at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College (August 23 to December 14), the exhibition will travel to the Onassis Cultural Center in New York (January 20 to April 15, 2004), the Cincinnati Art Museum (May 21 to August 1, 2004), and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles (September 14 to December 5, 2004). The Onassis Cultural Center venue will host a smaller version of the exhibition, with an additional special section entitled The Olympic Spirit.

Yale University Press has published a fully illustrated catalogue. The exhibition and catalogue are funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Onassis Public Benefit Foundation.

More National Geographic News stories about Ancient Greece:
"Out of Africa" Phrase in Use Since Ancient Greece
Cyclops Myth Spurred by "One-Eyed" Fossils?
Ancient Greek Wreck Found in Black Sea—with photo gallery
Ancient Olympians: Weighted Down to Win
Ancient Olympia: The Original Field of Dreams
Delphic Oracle's Lips May Have Been Loosened by Gas Vapors
Rare Greek Scroll Found with Egyptian Mummy
Will 2004 Olympics Destroy Ancient Greek Battleground?

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