9-3 | Archaeology and Developmental Psychology

Article

Archaeology and Developmental Psychology
A Brief Survey of Ancient Athenian Toys

Maria Sommer and Dion Sommer

Abstract:

The authors note that ancient Athens, in important ways, connected children, toys, and play. But they also find the scholarship of toys sparse and scattered. They discuss obstacles that can skew our modern view of the Greek mind, and they caution that modern eyes should not see play where the Greeks saw ritual and religious devotion. With these challenges in mind, the authors draw from archaeological, linguistic, and literary evidence found in ancient toys, art, and texts to offer an ecology of play that fits both modern and antique societies and guides future investigations of the subject. Key words: ancient Athenian toys; archeology and childhood in ancient Athens; classical dolls; classical rattles; classical wheeled horses; geometric and classical periods