CROWDER, KAYLA,DIANE (2019) Early-life stress in Transylvania: the use of macroscopic and isotopic analyses to examine how early life stress affected survival during periods of political transition. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.
|PDF - Accepted Version
As we see today, and throughout history, continued unrest in a region can have a dramatic impact on the health of the conquered and conquering populations, and the subsequent generations. The aims of this study were to integrate isotopic data (showing diet and mobility) and palaeopathological (disease) analyses to understand the impact of aspects of life such as living conditions, economy and diet, and migration, in locals and non-locals, had on morbidity and mortality. The Iclod Necropolis has been associated with the Kingdom of the Gepids, one of many tribes vying for power in Transylvania during this post-Roman transition of the Migration Period. The Bögöz Church and Fenyéd cemetery were occupied during the Arpadian expansion of the Hungarian Kingdom into Transylvania during the Middle Ages.
Macroscopic skeletal analyses confirmed both populations had substantial evidence (>50%) of physiological and metabolic stress. Strontium and oxygen isotope data established biosphere isotope ranges for the Transylvania Basin and were used to identify seven possible non-local individuals between the two populations. Carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis revealed both populations consumed a diet of terrestrial C3/C4 resources, with the Migration Period population consuming significantly more millet (C4) than the Middle Ages population. Significant differences were also found between the diet of males and females, with males consuming higher portions of meat, and females consuming more millet. Isotope life-history profiles revealed early-life stress during critical growth periods, as well as increased frailty and/or early death associated with limited consumption of breastmilk during childhood.
These data, and the substantial evidence of physiological/metabolic stress, support research linking early-life stress with increased frailty and early death. The outcomes of this project offer original contextually driven insights regarding morbidity and mortality of Medieval Transylvanian populations and help increase knowledge about these people who lived in this region of Eastern Europe.
|Doctor of Philosophy
|Romania, Transylvania, isotope, stress, medieval, carbon, nitrogen, strontium, oxygen
|Faculty and Department:
|Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Archaeology, Department of
|Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
|12 Dec 2019 13:43