The place of children in time of war is a challenge for archaeological research because we have practically no information on this subject. Nevertheless, based on different sources, specifically reliefs from Egypt that depict battles, we can learn something about children at a time of crisis such as this. One of the subjects of the doctoral dissertation Childhood and Children in the Material Culture of the Land of Israel from the Middle Bronze Age until the Iron Age will be presented in the lecture. This is a study that examines for the first time the material culture of children in light of the archaeological findings in the Land of Israel and its neighboring countries. Within the framework of it, finds are examined that can be attributed to children. To these finds are added the great deal of information hidden in various documents and artistic artifacts from the same periods which will probably shed a different light on the findings in the various sites.

Children are, without a doubt, an important demographic component in human culture and they also influenced the material culture in archaeological sites. Therefore archaeologists need to recognize that children contribute to the archaeological background, whether they are capable of identifying them or not.

By carefully examining reliefs from Mesopotamia and Egypt we learn that children are not missing even from the portrayals of war and therefore it is clear that the children were an inseparable part of the social structure.
In a scene that repeats itself in various reliefs in Egypt we see children that are being brought to the other side of the wall when a city is being conquered. Different proposals and interpretations have been offered regarding these depictions, among them: the residents of the besieged cities killing their children and sacrificing them to their gods; this is a ritual of child sacrifice to the god Ba’al that occurs on the city wall during a time of siege; in their effort to prevent the occupation of their city the residents of the city are conducting a ceremony by making an offering to pharaoh and the children are those of the besieged rulers and they (the children) are lowered from the city wall as a symbol of recognition of pharaoh; the children serve as an offering to pharaoh.

In the lecture several problems will be presented that arise from these interpretations, and two other possible interpretations for these depictions will be offered from which we can deduce the place of children in the time of war as seen in the eyes of the Egyptians during the Late Bronze Age.