Infant feeding practices at the Pitted Ware Culture site of Ajvide, Gotland
2014 (English)In: Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, ISSN 0278-4165, E-ISSN 1090-2686, Vol. 42, 42-53 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The infant feeding practices used at the Pitted Ware Culture (PWC) site of Ajvide on the Baltic island of Gotland were investigated using carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratio analysis. The PWC weremarine hunters with a seal-based economy who lived in the Baltic region during the Middle Neolithic, and were contemporary with the farming Funnel Beaker and Boat Axe Cultures. The carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios of bone collagen from adult females (14 individuals) and bone and dentine collagen from subadult individuals (23 individuals, 55 samples) from Ajvide were analysed. The results showed that the majority of infants continued breastfeeding into the third or fourth year of life. There was some variation in the types of supplementary foods used and the timing of their introduction, perhaps due to seasonal variation in the availability of different resources. One infant, a neonate, had carbonand nitrogen isotope ratios indicative of a much more terrestrial diet than usually consumed by the PWC, suggesting contact with the Neolithic farming populations in the Baltic region. Comparison of the results from Ajvide to those from other PWC sites in the Baltic region reveals that both adult and subadult dietary practices differed slightly between sites.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 42, 42-53 p.
Breastfeeding; Weaning; Seasonality; Neolithic; Sweden; Baltic; Stable Isotope; Carbon; Nitrogen; Paleodiet
Research subject Archaeological Science
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-88056DOI: 10.1016/j.jaa.2014.01.001ISI: 000336562600003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-88056DiVA: diva2:610636
FunderEU, FP7, Seventh Framework Programme, MC-ITN 215362 LeCHE.