The mother-infant dyad: reconstructing maternal nutritional status at Put Dragulina cemetery
Paige, Julianne Marie
Item TypeGraduate Thesis
Miller, D. Shane
Embargo TypeComplete embargo for 2 years
Embargo Lift Date2022-08-15
This research investigates maternal nutritional status through the analysis of young infants (N=27) that are likely pre-weaned from two Roman occupational periods at Put Dragulina. Because young infants are solely dependent on the nutritional status of their mother while in utero and postpartum through the consumption of breast milk, the presence of skeletal pathologies positively associated to nutritional deficiencies on the remains of young infants can be analyzed to reconstruct the nutritional status of the infant’s mother. This study finds that 89% (N=24) of young infants, regardless of occupational period, presented with skeletal pathologies consistent with nutritional deficiencies. These results suggest that the mothers who are absent from the Put Dragulina cemetery would have likely had poor nutritional statuses due to the high frequencies of nutritional stress indicators present on the skeletal remains of their infants.