Announcing the Final Examination of Ms. Brenna Raisor for the degree of Master of Arts in Anthropology.
Date: March 31, 2020
Room: HPH 409M
Thesis title: “Meroitic Childhood Diet and Weaning at Sai Island, Sudan: A Carbon and Nitrogen Isotopic Study of Site 8-B-52.B”
The aim of this research is to explore the diet and weaning patterns of non-adult individuals from an elite Meroitic (300BCE-350CE) cemetery (8-B-52.B) at Sai Island, Sudan. This was accomplished by conducting stable isotopic analyses of carbon and nitrogen on a sample of 71 individuals. These analyses focused on the differences in adult and non-adult diet, non-adult weaning patterns, and intra-elite differences between contemporaneous cemeteries at Sai Island. The non-adult individuals range from 36 weeks gestational age to 16.5 years of age, and the adult individuals range from 18 to 60 years of age. The non-adult individuals were divided into five age categories based on physiological stages of childhood: perinatal individuals aged 36-40 weeks gestation; infants, aged 0-1 year; young children, aged 1-6 years; old children, aged 7-12 years; and adolescents, aged 13-17 years. The isotopic values for each individual and age category were analyzed and compared to determine the diet and weaning patterns of the population, as well as the for individuals from site 8-B-5.A, a contemporaneous religious elite cemetery at Sai Island. The results suggest that the adults and non-adults at site 8-B-52.B were consuming a homogenous diet with the exception of breastfeeding children, who exhibited enriched d15N and d13C values compared to the other adults and non-adults in the sample. The isotopic data show that non-adults in this population were likely weaned by 2.5 years of age as suggested by the assimilation of non-adult d15N values to those exhibited by adult females. Lastly, no statistically significant differences in non-adult diet and weaning patterns existed between contemporaneous sites 8-B-52.B and 8-B-5.A on Sai Island, suggesting a homogenous diet between the religious and wealthy elite in this population.
Outline of Studies:
B.S., 2017, Western Kentucky University
Committee in Charge:
Dr. John J. Schultz, Chair
Dr. Tosha L. Dupras, Co-Chair
Dr. J. Marla Toyne
Approved for distribution by John J. Schultz, Committee Chair, on March 4, 2020
The public is welcome to attend.
Location:Howard Phillips Hall: 409M