BABES, BONES AND ISOTOPES: BIOARCHAEOLOGICAL AND ISOTOPIC INVESTIGATION OF HEALTH AND INFANT FEEDING PRACTICES IN AVENTICUM, SWITZERLAND (1ST-3RD C. AD)

Lösch, Sandra (5 September 2019). BABES, BONES AND ISOTOPES: BIOARCHAEOLOGICAL AND ISOTOPIC INVESTIGATION OF HEALTH AND INFANT FEEDING PRACTICES IN AVENTICUM, SWITZERLAND (1ST-3RD C. AD) (Unpublished). In: Annual Meeting of the European Archaeologist Association. Bern. 4.9.-7.9.2019.

The study of perinatal skeletal remains from archaeological populations adds considerably to the research about the lives of mothers and their babies in the past. Pathological and age-at-death information in conjunction with stable isotopes analysis (δ15N and δ13C values) can aid in understanding of cultural attitudes towards dietary choices and how specific circumstances experienced by mothers and their offspring influences childhood health and survivorship. This paper presents the bioarchaeological and stable isotopic analysis of a non-adult sample from Aventicum/Avenches, the civitas capital of the territory of Helvetii during the Roman period (1st-3rd c. AD). The obtained data offer an unprecedented insight into childhood mortality, disease and infant feeding practices in Roman Switzerland, adding to the discussion regarding living conditions in the urban centers at the periphery of the Roman Empire. It also highlights the complexity behind the interpretation of δ15N and δ13C values, as different factors, including natural variation of fetal and maternal stable isotope values, the possible effects of intrauterine growth, as well as maternal/fetal disease stress (e.g. nutritional deficiencies such as scurvy, parasitic infections, such as malaria), can influence the obtained isotopic data.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine > Anthropology

UniBE Contributor:

Lösch, Sandra

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
900 History > 930 History of ancient world (to ca. 499)

Funders:

[42] Schweizerischer Nationalfonds

Language:

English

Submitter:

Sandra Lösch

Date Deposited:

18 Sep 2019 15:30

Last Modified:

18 Sep 2019 15:30

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/133240

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