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Ref ID: 34380
Ref Type: Journal Article
Authors: Dupras, Tosha L.
Schwarcz, Henry P.
Fairgrieve, Scott I.
Title: Infant feeding and weaning practices in Roman Egypt
Date: 2001
Source: American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Abstract: Current knowledge of infant feeding and weaning practices during the Roman period in Egypt is limited to scanty documentary and iconographic evidence. Stable nitrogen and carbon isotope analysis provides another avenue to explore this question. A sample of 49 infant and juvenile human skeletal remains from the Kellis 2 cemetery in the Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt, was used to determine patterns of infant feeding and weaning. d15N values indicate that supplementary foods were introduced at around 6 months of age, and that weaning was complete by 3 years of age. By 6 months of age, d13C values become increasingly enriched over adult values, and reach peak enrichment at approximately 1.5 years of age. Beyond this age, d13C gradually declines to approach adult values. This enrichment in infant d13C values is indicative of consumption of 13C-enriched supplementary foods. Based on isotopic study of faunal and botanical remains from the ancient village of Kellis, we conclude that at approximately 6 months of age, infants were fed milk of goat and/or cow.
Date Created: 8/10/2001
Volume: 115
Number: 3
Page Start: 204
Page End: 212