“It’s like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. By examining papyri, pottery fragments with writing on, toys and other objects, we are trying to form a picture of how children lived in Roman Egypt,” explains social historian and historian of ideas Ville Vuolanto, University of Oslo. What she and Dr April Pudsey of the University of Newcastle have found is evidence from Roman Egypt that shows that 14-year-old boys were enrolled in a youth organization in order to learn to be good citizens.
The research is part of the University of Oslo project ‘Tiny Voices from the Past: New Perspectives on Childhood in Early Europe’. The documentary evidence comes from 7,500 ancient documents written on papyrus that originate from Oxyrhynchos in Egypt, which in the first five hundred years CE was a large town of more than 25,000 inhabitants. Oxyrhynchos had Egypt’s most important weaving industry, and was also the Roman administrative centre for the area. Researchers possess a great deal of documentation precisely from this area because archaeologists digging one hundred years ago discovered thousands of papyri in what had once been the town’s rubbish dumps.
Read the full story here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/11/141105084711.htm