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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:55580
Doc. No:TL25534
Call number:‭NR54351‬
Main Entry:Sandra M. Wheeler
Title & Author:Bioarchaeology of infancy and childhood at the Kellis 2 cemetery, Dakhleh Oasis, EgyptSandra M. Wheeler
College:The University of Western Ontario (Canada)
Date:2009
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2009
Page No:308
Abstract:This study investigates infancy and childhood at Kellis 2, a Roman period cemetery (ca. A.D. 50-450), Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt, using a bioarchaeological approach emphasizing the integration and interpretation of data from textual, archaeological, environmental, and biological sources. To date, 701 individuals, all of whom were buried in an east-west orientation with the head to the west, have been excavated and analyzed. Over 400 were juveniles under 15 years of age; almost half were fetuses or infants. Mortuary data reflect early Christian doctrines emphasizing the message of the resurrection for all, regardless of age, sex, or social status. A suite of skeletal and dental indicators of non-specific stress (cribra orbitalia, enamel hypoplasia, osteoperiostosis) and trauma were used to measure the effects of Roman policies on the well being of the Kellis 2 juveniles (N=239). These analyses revealed moderate levels of stress, low prevalence of trauma, and overall improvement in health from pre-Roman times. Seasonal mortality was investigated building on a previous study of grave orientation and short-term isotopic composition from segmental hair analysis. A spring seasonal mortality peak was noted, consistent with historical documentary sources from Egypt. Juveniles exhibiting cribra orbitalia showed similar mortality patterns based on grave orientation as individuals exhibiting no skeletal lesions, suggesting all juveniles were equally affected by adverse environmental pressures during particular seasons. A possible link between the prevalence of neural tube defects and seasonality was proposed. Skeletal growth was assessed using diaphyseal lengths and the proportion of adult size for juveniles aged from birth to 12 years. The Kellis 2 data were compared with Wadi Halfa, a sample from Sudanese Nubia, and a modern sample from the United States. Kellis 2 juveniles were significantly smaller than their modern counterparts, but achieved adult size at similar rates. Compared to the archaeological sample, Kellis 2 juveniles were similar in absolute size, but were slightly accelerated in their achievement of adult size. No relationships were found between growth and the number of stressors exhibited, suggesting the effects of cumulative stressors did not significantly impact patterns of growth at Kellis 2. Key Words: Bioarchaeology, juveniles, seasonality, morbidity and mortality, skeletal growth, Roman Egypt, Early Christianity
Subject:Social sciences; Bioarchaeology; Cemetery; Childhood; Dakhleh Oasis; Egypt; Infancy; Kellis 2; Archaeology; 0324:Archaeology
Added Entry:The University of Western Ontario (Canada)