Nutritional and disease stress of juveniles from the Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt
Article first published online: 7 SEP 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
International Journal of Osteoarchaeology
Volume 22, Issue 2, pages 219–234, March/April 2012
How to Cite
Wheeler, S. M. (2012), Nutritional and disease stress of juveniles from the Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt. Int. J. Osteoarchaeol., 22: 219–234. doi: 10.1002/oa.1201
- Issue published online: 10 APR 2012
- Article first published online: 7 SEP 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 15 JUL 2010
- Manuscript Revised: 1 JUL 2010
- Manuscript Received: 10 MAR 2010
- Roman period
Bioarchaeologists use skeletal health indicators to measure how ancient populations adapted to their physical, cultural and biological environments. Skeletons of infants and children are rarely included in these kinds of analyses because of factors such as poor preservation, small sample size, incomplete recovery or research design. In this study, skeletal remains of juveniles aged from foetal to 15 years (N = 238) from Kellis 2, a Romano-Byzantine cemetery in the Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt, are analysed to shed light on how infants and children were affected by Roman policies during the early years of the Christianisation of Egypt. Non-specific indicators of physiological stress (cribra orbitalia, enamel hypoplasia and osteoperiostitis) are analysed for post-natal individuals and interpreted in the context of the physical, cultural and biological landscapes. Results from these analyses suggest moderate levels of skeletal and dental stress with a marked improvement in general health from pre-Roman times. This study contributes to a better understanding of juvenile paleoepidemiology and mortuary practices in Egypt during the Romano-Byzantine period. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.