Projet FNS interdisciplinaire 2016-2019 (V. Dasen - S. Lösch)

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

Directed by Prof. Véronique Dasen, History of art and archaeology (University of Fribourg), and Dr. Sandra Lösch, Head of the Anthropological Department, Institute of Forensic Medicine (University of Bern) with Dr Chryssa Bourbou (Post-doc)

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.


Contact : veronique.dasen(at)unifr.ch