Announcing the Final Examination of Ms. Rachel Gregoire for the degree of Master of Arts in Anthropology.
Date: July 3rd, 2019
Time: 9:00 am
Room: CSB 212
Thesis title: “Estimation of Weaning Patterns in the Elite Meroitic Population (8-B-5.A) from Sai Island, Sudan Using Stable Nitrogen and Carbon Isotopes.”
This research explores dietary patterns of elite non-adults from the Meroitic period (300 BC – AD 350) located in Sai Island, Sudan. The cemetery (8-B-5.A) is believed to have been in use during the 1st and 2nd centuries AD. Non-adults were chosen because they offer a unique, and often ignored, perspective into the ideology and customs of past populations. Children require significant energy, which impacts how society feeds and cares for their young. One way to examine this aspect of past populations is to reconstruct infant weaning and feeding patterns using stable isotope analysis.
This study focuses on the use of nitrogen and carbon isotopes from the bone collagen of 31 non-adult individuals, ranging in age from 38 weeks to 16 years. Stable nitrogen isotopes are used to identify if the infants have higher trophic levels than their mothers, an indication of breastfeeding, and stable carbon isotopes are used to identify potential weaning foods. Taken together, and over the cross-sectional sample ages, the longevity of the weaning process is considered, particularly when compared to adult male and female isotope values. Isotopic results indicate that non-adults in this population were weaned between 2-4 years of age and the weaning food were a combination of C3 and C4 plant food sources.
Outline of Studies:
B.A., 2016, DePaul University
Committee in Charge:
Dr. Tosha Dupras, Chair
Dr. J. Marla Toyne
Dr. Emily Zavodny
Approved for distribution by Tosha Dupras, Committee Chair, on June 19th, 2019.
The public is welcome to attend.