Feeding babies at the beginnings of urbanization in Central Europe

Katharina Rebay-Salisbury*, Julie B Dunne, Roderick B. Salisbury, Daniela Kern, Alexander Frisch, Richard P Evershed

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

Small ceramic vessels with spouts, from which liquid can be poured, became popular during the Late Bronze and Early Iron Ages in Central Europe (c. 1200-600 BC). Such feeding vessels represent a functional type and are highly variable in size, shape and decoration. Found both on settlements and within graves, their association with child burials suggest they might have been used to feed babies and small children. Combined lipid and isotope analysis was carried out on 24 of these feeding vessels, with seven delivering interpretable results. Feeding vessels associated with child burials tend to deliver a ruminant milk signal, whereas other vessels were used to process ruminant and non-ruminant adipose fats. Here, we highlight the potential significance of feeding vessels as indicators of changing childcare practices during times of population increase, settlement nucleation and mobility, possibly involving out-sourcing the feeding of babies and small children to persons other than the mother.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-124
Number of pages23
JournalChildhood in the Past
Volume14
Issue number2
Early online date7 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was part of the project ?Value of Mothers to Society: Responses to Motherhood and Child Rearing Practices in Prehistoric Europe?, which received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union?s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme [grant agreement number 676828]. This study was part of the project ?The Value of Mothers to Society: Responses to Motherhood and Child Rearing Practices in Prehistoric Europe?, which received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union?s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 676828). G. Almst?dter, K. Gr?mer, A. Kern, D. Pany-Kucera, K. Wiltschke-Schrotta and M. Berner provided practical support for sampling. We thank M. Spannagl-Steiner for the age and sex assessment of the cremated remains from Fugging held in the anthropological Department of the Natural History Museum in Vienna. The authors also thank NERC 771 (Reference: CC010) and NEIF (www.isotopesuk.org) for funding and maintenance of the instruments used for this work, Ian Bull, Alison Kuhl and Helen Whelton for technical help and Caitlin Walton-Doyle with help in sample processing. The study was conceived and designed by K.R.-S. and J.D. D.K. and A.F. provided vessels and helped with sampling. J.D. performed analytical work and data analysis. K.R.-S. and J.D. wrote the first draft, RBS contributed to writing, visualization, and editing.

Funding Information:
This study was part of the project ‘The Value of Mothers to Society: Responses to Motherhood and Child Rearing Practices in Prehistoric Europe’, which received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 676828). G. Almstädter, K. Grömer, A. Kern, D. Pany-Kucera, K. Wiltschke-Schrotta and M. Berner provided practical support for sampling. We thank M. Spannagl-Steiner for the age and sex assessment of the cremated remains from Fugging held in the anthropological Department of the Natural History Museum in Vienna. The authors also thank NERC 771 (Reference: CC010) and NEIF ( www.isotopesuk.org ) for funding and maintenance of the instruments used for this work, Ian Bull, Alison Kuhl and Helen Whelton for technical help and Caitlin Walton-Doyle with help in sample processing. The study was conceived and designed by K.R.-S. and J.D. D.K. and A.F. provided vessels and helped with sampling. J.D. performed analytical work and data analysis. K.R.-S. and J.D. wrote the first draft, RBS contributed to writing, visualization, and editing.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Milk
  • Baby Bottles
  • feeding vessels
  • Bronze Age
  • Iron Age
  • organic residue analysis
  • isotopes

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