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WEaning practices in ANcient ITaly: from Neolithic farmers to the first cities

WEaning practices in ANcient ITaly: from Neolithic farmers to the first cities

Objective

Weaning age directly reflects the way infants are cared for within a human society. It is linked to female fertility, maternal and non-maternal care strategies, social stratification, infant growth and even adult heath. Yet, we know almost nothing about the way weaning age developed during recent human evolution. This project focuses on a critical period in human evolution in Italy that led to major socio-economic changes as Neolithic farming economies gave way to the first cities. The goal in this project is to reconstruct weaning age in extensive collections of human skeletons that span these periods of transitions. I will integrate microstructural, histological and chemical signals of weaning in bones and teeth. Using recently developed cutting edge methodology I will determine for the first time if weaning age differed between the sexes. I will use this information to re-assess existing ideas and hypotheses about the biocultural consequences accompanying the Neolithic revolution and the origins of urbanism to bring a new understanding to this debate. This project adds value and competitiveness to the bioarchaeological research landscape in Europe, thanks to its innovative multi-methodological approach. Not only will my project be of interest to a broad range of academics within the social sciences but it can inform present day public health policy as I will directly measure the effect of weaning on bone growth. Results will be published in high-impact scientific journals and presented at international conferences. Particular attention will be dedicated to dissemination through the media to reach a broader non-academic audience.
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Coordinator

UNIVERSITY OF KENT

Address

The Registry Canterbury
Ct2 7nz Canterbury, Kent

United Kingdom

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 224 933,76

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 842812

Status

Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    1 April 2020

  • End date

    31 March 2022

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.3.2.

  • Overall budget:

    € 224 933,76

  • EU contribution

    € 224 933,76

Coordinated by:

UNIVERSITY OF KENT

United Kingdom