Project

Back to overview

To be a child in Roman Aventicum/Avenches (1th-3rd c. AD): Evidence on health, disease and feeding practices from bioarchaeology and stable isotope analysis

English title To be a child in Roman Aventicum/Avenches (1st-3rd c. AD): Evidence on health, disease and feeding practices from bioarchaeology and stable isotope analysis
Applicant Dasen Véronique
Number 166559
Funding scheme Interdisciplinary projects
Research institution Institut du monde antique et byzantin Faculté des lettres Université de Fribourg
Institution of higher education University of Fribourg - FR
Main discipline Archaeology
Start/End 01.10.2016 - 30.09.2020
Approved amount 443'076.00
Show all

All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Archaeology
Anthropology, Primatology

Keywords (7)

Weaning Practices; History of demography; Childhood; Food history; Medical History; Fosterage; Kinship

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Ce projet interdisciplinaire concerne l'étude des sépultures d'enfants des nécropoles d'Aventicum/ Avenches (Ier s. -IIIe s. apr. J.-C.). Les informations issues des sources écrites, iconographiques et archéologiques, seront croisées avec celles livrées par l'étude anthropologique et bioarchéologique des ossements. L'analyse des isotopes stables devrait notamment permettre de reconstituer les pratiques alimentaires des nourrissons (âge au sevrage, type d'alimentation) en les comparant aux profils de mortalité infantile. L'objectif est de produire une étude de cas exemplaire afin de mieux comprendre les rapports entre mortalité infantile et habitudes alimentaires. Il s'agit aussi de livrer une synthèse sur la petite enfance dans une région spécifique de l'Empire romain et de contribuer ainsi plus largement à une histoire de l'enfant dans l'Antiquité.par les enfants dans l'Antiquité
Lay summary
Ce projet interdisciplinaire concerne l'étude des sépultures d'enfants des nécropoles d'Aventicum/ Avenches (Ier s. -IIIe s. apr. J.-C.). Les informations issues des sources écrites (épigraphiques, littéraires, médicales), iconographiques et archéologiques (les tombes et leur matériel) seront croisées avec celles livrées par l'étude anthropologique et bioarchéologique des ossements. L'analyse des isotopes stables devrait notamment permettre de reconstituer les pratiques alimentaires des nourrissons (âge au sevrage, type d'alimentation) en les comparant aux profils de mortalité infantile. L'objectif est de produire une étude de cas exemplaire afin de mieux comprendre les rapports entre mortalité infantile et habitudes alimentaires. Il s'agit aussi de livrer une synthèse sur la petite enfance dans une région spécifique de l'Empire romain et de contribuer ainsi plus largement à une histoire de l'enfant dans l'Antiquité.par les enfants dans l'Antiquité.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 30.06.2016

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
This interdisciplinary project is based on the study of cemeteries from Roman Aventicum/ Avenches (1st-3rd c. AD). It will combine traditional documentary evidence (literary, epigraphic and iconographic sources), and archaeological evidence (burial context and associated material), with anthropological data (study of the skeletal remains, recording of pathological conditions on the bones), and stable isotope data for the reconstruction of breastfeeding and weaning patterns.The aim is to serve as an exemplary model for a specific geographic region of the Roman Empire by offering comparative data in order to understand the causes of infant health hazards and their possible relation to feeding practices. It will provide a holistic investigation of how socio-cultural beliefs influenced feeding practices, adding to the scientific debate on ancient childhood in a wide temporal and regional context.
Lay summary

Childhood is both a biological stage in human life and a cultural construct. Today the development of bioarchaeology can deliver ground-breaking information on the past lives of children. In particular, ancient feeding practices, which are directly affected by culturally determined beliefs and behaviours, can add to our understanding of infant mortality as well as of strategies that aimed at securing the survival of offspring.

Despite an increased interest in the study of ancient childhood is evidenced, work on children’s biological remains is still limited. This interdisciplinary project is based on the study of cemeteries from Roman Aventicum/ Avenches (1st-3rd c. AD). It will combine traditional documentary evidence (literary, epigraphic and iconographic sources), and archaeological evidence (burial context and associated material), with anthropological data (study of the skeletal remains, recording of pathological conditions on the bones), and stable isotope data for the reconstruction of breastfeeding and weaning patterns.

The aim is to serve as an exemplary model for a specific geographic region of the Roman Empire by offering comparative data in order to understand the causes of infant health hazards and their possible relation to feeding practices. It will provide a holistic investigation of how socio-cultural beliefs influenced feeding practices, adding to the scientific debate on ancient childhood in a wide temporal and regional context.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 30.06.2016

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Magical milk stones?
Dasen Véronique (2019), Magical milk stones?, in Martos Montiel J. F. (ed.), Libros Pórtico, Zaragoza, 1035-1048.
Babes, bones, and isotopes: a stable isotope investigation on non-adults from Aventicum, Roman Switzerland (1st-3rd c. CE)
Bourbou Chryssi, Arenz Gabriele, Dasen Veronique, Loesch Sandra (2019), Babes, bones, and isotopes: a stable isotope investigation on non-adults from Aventicum, Roman Switzerland (1st-3rd c. CE), in International Journal of Osteoarchaeology.
Enfant
DasenVéronique (2019), Enfant, in Mehl V, Bodiou L (ed.), PUR, Rennes, 215-219.
Mobility and rickets: Investigating Vitamin D deficiency and regional mobility in Aventicum, Roman Switzerland (first to third century CE)
Peacock Taylor, Bourbou Chryssi, D'Orenzio Lori, Kahlon Bonnie, Prowse Tracy, Brickley Megan (2019), Mobility and rickets: Investigating Vitamin D deficiency and regional mobility in Aventicum, Roman Switzerland (first to third century CE), in International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 29(4), 654-664.
The Bioarchaeology of Roman Diet
Bourbou Chryssi (2018), The Bioarchaeology of Roman Diet, in Erdkamp Paul, Holleran Claire (ed.), Routledge, London and New York, 77-90.
Life and death at the “The Land of Three Lakes”: Revisiting the non-adults from Roman Aventicum, Switzerland (1st–3rd century CE)
BourbouChryssi (2018), Life and death at the “The Land of Three Lakes”: Revisiting the non-adults from Roman Aventicum, Switzerland (1st–3rd century CE), in International Journal of Paleopathology, 22, 121-134.
Enfance en péril: sur les traces des maladies infantiles à l’époque romaine
Bourbou Chryssa, Dasen Véronique (2018), Enfance en péril: sur les traces des maladies infantiles à l’époque romaine, in Archeologia, 564, 58-65.
Modèles anatomiques tératologiques et cabinets de curiosité antiques
Dasen Véronique (2018), Modèles anatomiques tératologiques et cabinets de curiosité antiques, in Pallas, 106, 175-196.
« L’enfant qui ne sourit pas »
DasenVéronique (2017), « L’enfant qui ne sourit pas », in Revue Archéologique, 2, 2017, 261-283.
« Le hochet d’Archytas : un jouet pour grandir »,
DasenVéronique (2017), « Le hochet d’Archytas : un jouet pour grandir »,, in Annales de Bretagne et des pays de l'Ouest, 124(3), 89-107.
A New Project Investigating Roman Infant Feeding Practices in Switzerland
BourbouChryssa, DasenVéronique, LoeschSandra (2017), A New Project Investigating Roman Infant Feeding Practices in Switzerland, in Paleopathology Newsletter , 179, 17-18.
Accueil et soin de l’enfant (Antiquité, Moyen Âge)
Dasen Véronique, Gaillard-Seux Patricia (ed.) (2017), Accueil et soin de l’enfant (Antiquité, Moyen Âge), Presses universitaires de Rennes, Rennes.
Famille et société dans le monde grec et en Italie du Ve siècle au IIe siècle av. J.-C.
Wilgaud Jérôme, Bonnard Jean-Baptiste, Dasen Véronique (2017), Famille et société dans le monde grec et en Italie du Ve siècle au IIe siècle av. J.-C., Presses universitaire de Rennes, Rennes.
Magie, divination et histoire du corps
DasenVéronique (2017), Magie, divination et histoire du corps, in Annuaire EPHE, Sciences religieuses, 124, 121-130.
The Construction of Physical Otherness in Ancient Iconography
Dasen Véronique (2017), The Construction of Physical Otherness in Ancient Iconography, in Medicina nei secoli, 29(1), 1065-1080.
L’ars medica au féminin
Dasen Véronique (2016), L’ars medica au féminin, in Eugesta, Revue sur le genre dans l’Antiquité, 6, 1-40.
Bon pour les uns, fatal pour les autres
BourbouChryssa, DasenVéronique, LoeschSandra (2016), Bon pour les uns, fatal pour les autres, Universitas Friburgensis, Fribourg.
Every Woman Counts: Rethinking Maternal Mortality in the Bioarchaeological Context
BourbouChryssi, Every Woman Counts: Rethinking Maternal Mortality in the Bioarchaeological Context, in Huebner S (ed.), University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor.
Feeding the little Romans: The contribution of bioarchaeological studies
BourbouChryssi, Feeding the little Romans: The contribution of bioarchaeological studies, in Dasen Véronique, Maffi Irene, Solfaroli Camillocci Daniela, Foehr-Janssens Yasmina (ed.), Brepols Publishers, Turnhout.
Health and disease at the marshes: Deciphering the human-environment interaction at Roman Aventicum, Switzerland (1st-3rd c. AD)
BourbouChryssi, Health and disease at the marshes: Deciphering the human-environment interaction at Roman Aventicum, Switzerland (1st-3rd c. AD), in Robbins Schug G (ed.), Routledge, London and New York.
Roman Childhood Revisited
Dasen Véronique, Roman Childhood Revisited, in Beaumont Lesley (ed.), Routledge, London.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
University of Antwerp Belgium (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Laboratoire d'archéologie préhistorique et anthropologie, Geneva Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
sinergia project Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Programme ANR MAGI France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Centre for Human Bioarchaeology Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Institut d'histoire de la médecine et de la santé publique Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
McMaster University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Anthropology Canada (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Aarhus University, Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies Denmark (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Aventicum Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
Society for the study of childhood in the past Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Table Ronde de la SAKA-ASAC Talk given at a conference Interacting with the Dead: How Bioarchaeology has Reinvigorated the Study of Roman Populations: The Case of Aventicum/Avenches Switzerland (1st-3rd c. AD). 09.11.2019 University of Fribourg, Switzerland Bourmpou Chrysi;
25th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists Talk given at a conference Babes, bones and isotopes: Bioarchaeological and isotopic investigation of health and infant feeding practices in Aventicum, Switzerland (1st-3rd c. AD) 04.09.2019 Bern, Switzerland Dasen Véronique; Bourmpou Chrysi; Lösch Sandra;
Colloque Créatures hybrides Talk given at a conference Petits maux, grand dieu: Chnoubis et les soins de l’enfance. 03.04.2019 Rome, Italy Dasen Véronique;
First Workshop on Ancient Rare Diseases Talk given at a conference “The Giant among Them”: A possible case of pituitary gigantism from the Roman cemetery of En Chaplix, Aventicum, Switzerland (1st-3rd c. AD) 28.02.2019 Berlin, Germany Bourmpou Chrysi;
Invited lecture. History of Childhood Individual talk L'invention de l'enfance grecque et romaine 07.02.2019 Toulouse, France Dasen Véronique;
39th Association for Environmental Archaeology Conference Talk given at a conference Life and death in a civitas capital: Deciphering the link between environmental constraints and health hazards at Aventicum, Roman Switzerland (1st-3rd c. AD). 29.11.2018 Aarhus University, Denmark Bourmpou Chrysi;
Invited lecture Individual talk “Separating the wheat from the chaff?” A bioarchaeological approach towards differences in burial treatment at the cemeteries of Aventicum, Roman Switzerland (1st-3rd c. AD). 28.11.2018 Aarhus University, Denmark Bourmpou Chrysi;
séminaire Médecine-Humanités, Paris ENS, "Naissance : de la conception à la petite enfance ». Individual talk "L'invention de la petite enfance grecque et romaine" 27.11.2018 ENS, France Dasen Véronique;
Couleur et soins dans les médecines anciennes Talk given at a conference Pierre de lait et couleurs du lait 22.11.2018 Lyon, France Dasen Véronique;
Invited lecture Individual talk “Bioarchaeology meets the little Romans: Inferring about life and death in Aventicum, Switzerland (1st-3rd c. AD)” 20.11.2018 Basel, Switzerland Bourmpou Chrysi;
46th Annual Meeting of The Canadian Association for Physical Anthropology, London (Ontario), Canada Poster Regional Mobility and Vitamin D Deficiency in Aventicum, Roman Switzerland (1st-3rd c. CE). 31.10.2018 London (Ontario),, Canada Bourmpou Chrysi;
Invited lecture Berlin Humbodlt Forum/Antikes Museum, Ausstellung Vorsicht Kinder Individual talk Children and amuletic protection 19.10.2018 Berlin, Germany Dasen Véronique;
SGA Annual Meeting, Bern Individual talk Diagnosis of pathological conditions in perinatal remains-an impossible task? The case of Aventicum, Roman Switzerland (1st-3rd c. AD). 06.10.2018 Bern, Switzerland Bourmpou Chrysi;
11th Annual International Conference Society for the Study of Childhood in the Past Talk given at a conference At “The Land of Three Lakes”: A bioarchaeological perspective on non-adult mortality and health patterns from Roman Aventicum, Switzerland (1st-3rd c. AD) 20.09.2018 Natural History Museum, Vienna, Austria Bourmpou Chrysi; Dasen Véronique;
22nd European Meeting of the Paleopathology Association (PPA) Talk given at a conference New insights on nutritional deficiencies at the civitas capital of Aventicum in Roman Switzerland (1st-3rd c. AD). 28.08.2018 Zagreb, Croatia Bourmpou Chrysi;
Rencontre autour du corps malade: Prise en charge et traitement funéraire des individus souffrants à travers les siècles, Bordeaux (France) Talk given at a conference Outsiders within? A Bioarchaeological Perspective of Prone Burials in Roman populations from Italy and Switzerland (1st-3rd c. AD). 23.05.2018 Bordeaux, France Bourmpou Chrysi;
45rd Annual North American Meeting of the Paleopathology Association, Austin (Texas) Poster Vitamin D Deficiency and Interglobular Dentin (IGD) in a Roman (1st-3rd c. AD) Population from Aventicum, Switzerland. 09.04.2018 Austin (Texas), United States of America Bourmpou Chrysi;
Archéologie et histoire de l'enfant Talk given at a conference Short lives and growing pains: A Bioarchaeological approach to the mortality and health patterns of the non-adult individuals from Aventicum/Avenches (1st-3rd c. AD). 04.12.2017 Fribourg, Switzerland Bourmpou Chrysi;
Advanced Archaeometry Short Courses in Fribourg, Department of Geosciences Individual talk Bones don’t lie: Current Aspects and Future Perspectives in Bioarchaeology. 23.11.2017 Fribourg, Switzerland Bourmpou Chrysi;
Rencontre Franco-Suisse Master, Neuchâtel Talk given at a conference Le traitement funéraire des enfants dans le monde grec et romain: nouvelles approches 09.11.2017 Neuchâtel, Switzerland Dasen Véronique; Bourmpou Chrysi;
Invited lecture Individual talk Contextualizing Roman Avenches/Aventicum (1st-3rd c. AD): A New Bioarchaeological Perspective on Non-Adult Individuals 06.11.2017 Anthropological Museum and Institut, University of Zürich-Irchel, Switzerland Bourmpou Chrysi;
Assemblée annuelle de l'association pour l'archéologie romaine en Suisse Talk given at a conference To be a child in Roman Aventicum/Avenches (1st-3rd c. AD): Evidence on health, disease and feeding practices from bioarchaeology and stable isotope analysis 04.11.2016 Pully, Switzerland Dasen Véronique; Lösch Sandra; Bourmpou Chrysi;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Now seen, now heard: The Bioarchaeology of Greco-Roman Children (Course) 20.02.2019 University of Fribourg , Switzerland
Now seen, now heard: The Bioarchaeology of Greco-Roman Children (Course) 28.02.2018 University of Fribourg , Switzerland
Archéologie et histoire de l’enfance et du jeu 04.12.2017 Fribourg, Switzerland
The Bioarchaeology of Childhood (Course) 09.03.2017 University of Fribourg , Switzerland
Archéologie et nouvelles technologies 04.03.2017 Fribourg, Switzerland

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions À la rencontre des enfants d’Aventicum: mortalité, maladie et alimentation Western Switzerland 2018
Print (books, brochures, leaflets) Être un enfant à Aventicum Western Switzerland 2017

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
190014 Les experts à Aventicum ou comment vivaient les habitants de la capitale des Helvètes 01.10.2019 Agora
147699 Lactation in History: a crosscultural research on suckling practices, representations of breastfeeding and politics of maternity in a European context 01.10.2013 Sinergia
143196 L’enfant en bas âge dans la société grecque antique (VIIIe-IVe s. av. J.-C.) : regards croisés (sources écrites, iconographiques et archéologiques) 01.12.2012 Project funding (Div. I-III)
149583 Nutrition, origin, and social stratification in the Late Iron Age. Stable isotope analysis of Swiss skeletal series 01.01.2014 Interdisciplinary projects

Abstract

This interdisciplinary project is based on the study of cemeteries from Roman Aventicum/ Avenches (1st-3rd c. AD). It will combine traditional documentary evidence (literary, epigraphic and iconographic sources), and archaeological evidence (burial context and associated material), with anthropological data (study of the skeletal remains, recording of pathological conditions on the bones), and stable isotope data for the reconstruction of breastfeeding and weaning patterns.The aim is to serve as an exemplary model for a specific geographic region of the Roman Empire by offering comparative data in order to understand the causes of infant health hazards and their possible relation to feeding practices. It will provide a holistic investigation of how socio-cultural beliefs influenced feeding practices, adding to the scientific debate on ancient childhood in a wide temporal and regional context.
-