Monday, June 10, 2013

Sorry Egypt

But someone has to be the first. A child from a Romano-Christian period cemetery in Egypt shows signs of physical child abuse, the earliest documented case of child abuse in the archaeological record. The child, age 2-3 is around 2,000 years old. 

Researchers found a number of bone fractures throughout the body and the pattern of trauma suggest abuse occurred. Identical fractures on the child's upper arms suggest that someone grabbed them and used them as handles to shake them violently. The injuries were in all different stages of healing, hinting at repeated non-accidental trauma.

Romans believed children were born soft and weak, so it was the parents' duty to mold them into adults. "We know that the ancient Egyptians really revered children, but we don't know how much Roman ideas filtered into Egyptian society," archaeologist Sandra Wheeler said, suggesting this case may have been the result of Roman influence.

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