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Prehistoric-Society

In Association with

A Child's Life in the Iron Age

It is important to remember that in the Iron Age, unless you were born into a noble or

rich family, your life was mostly hard physical toil. Your working life revolved around

keeping your chieftain in the position to which he or she was accustomed.

 

Waking up at first light and going to bed just after last light, the natural rhythm of the

day and seasons would have dictated the kind of work you had to do each day.

 

There was no such thing as Health and Safety or full time education for all as we

have today. Certainly there was no time for children to simply do whatever they

wanted. Children were almost certainly given jobs of responsibility from an early age.

 

Many of the jobs were monotonous and dirty and physically hard to do, but without

them the community and life in the Iron Age would have been very difficult.

 

Fetching water, perhaps a number of older children would have carried heavy

buckets of water from the natural spring in or around the community each morning.

Feeding the animals, shepherding, milking goats and cows, tending livestock, using

sling stones to keep away foxes and other predators from planted crops.

 

Perhaps helping their mothers spending an hour or two each day grinding corn with

quern stones to make flour for their bread daily energy food needs.

 

Cleaning sheep’s wool and preparing it for spinning on drop spindles.

 

Operating bellows for the blacksmith at the bloom furnace and in his forge.

 

Arguably the majority of children adopted the work of their parents.

If one parent was a spinner or weaver, then that would be your future too.

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