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Breastfeeding, weaning and childhood diet in cave and megalithic populations of Late Neolithic north-central Spain

Author(s): Teresa Fernández-Crespo ; Andrea Czermak ; Rick J. Schulting ; Julia A. Lee-Thorp

Year: 2017

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Summary

Stable carbon and nitrogen data of adult/adolescent human bone collagen from north-central Spanish Late Neolithic (ca. 3500-2900 cal. BC) provide evidence for the existence of significant isotopic differences among and between communities living in close proximity and burying their dead in caves and megalithic graves. This, together with previously identified distinct funerary selection patterns, suggests an unsuspected complex social or cultural differentiation. The purpose of this paper is to extend the isotopic investigation to infants and young children, in order to determine at what age isotopic/dietary difference appears and if divergences can also be seen in breastfeeding and weaning practices. This may have implications for whether these are two distinct populations, or some other division within society that occurs from a certain age. To this end, stable carbon and nitrogen analyses on infant bone collagen and on high-resolution incremental dentine samples of first permanent molars are conducted, increasing precision in considering weaning chronologies.


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Breastfeeding, weaning and childhood diet in cave and megalithic populations of Late Neolithic north-central Spain. Teresa Fernández-Crespo, Andrea Czermak, Rick J. Schulting, Julia A. Lee-Thorp. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431816)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15787

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America