Infant feeding practices in Europe and the Mediterranean from prehistory to the middle ages: A comparison between the historical sources and bioarchaeology

Francesca Fulminante*

*Corresponding author for this work

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

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The duration of the breastfeeding and weaning periods is very much a combination of environmental and cultural elements and the study of those practices in historical populations is most useful because it allows the identification of patterns and trends over a long-term perspective. A number of studies have attempted to write the history of infant feeding in Western civilisations from a historical perspective but progress in stable isotope analysis in archaeology provides additional information that makes the overall picture much more varied and interesting. While a great deal of research and work is still required, the data available highlights trends that seem to indicate that shorter breastfeeding times were practiced in societies characterised by urban developments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-47
Number of pages24
JournalChildhood in the Past
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

Keywords

  • Ancient authors
  • Breastfeeding
  • Europe
  • Mediterranean
  • Stable isotopes
  • Urbanisation
  • Weaning

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