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Communication invitée du thème
Analyses invasives, micro-invasives et non-invasives des vestiges anthropobiologiques. Comment et pourquoi ?
Understanding of the maternal-infant nexus in ancient human populations: advanced methods in dental histology and high-resolution compositional biogeochemistry

Compréhension du lien entre la mère et l’enfant dans les populations humaines anciennes : méthodes avancées en histologie dentaire et biogéochimie compositionnelle à haute résolution
Alessia Nava

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1The intimate maternal-infant relationship during pregnancy and early infancy, is still an underexplored aspect of past humans. Information about this critical nexus can be accessed from the study of the dental mineralized tissues. Indeed, teeth preserve a permanent record of the individual biological life history from the intra-uterine life to the first years after birth coming up to early adulthood. Furthermore, tissues formed prenatally record the health status, diet and mobility of the mother-infant dyad during pregnancy. Classic and non-destructive virtual histomorphometry is the state-of-the-art approach to study infants’ growth trajectories, stresses, and mother-infant health status. In addition, maternal diet, nursing practices, and the onset of weaning, as well as mobility patterns, can be reconstructed at the highest temporal resolution using laser based elemental and isotopic biogeochemical analyses of dental enamel. Indeed, human growth and development, from the earliest phases of ontogenesis, strongly correlates with dietary behaviours – including that of the mother during pregnancy. Models on the incorporation of trace elements in dental enamel and their correlation with the major dietary shifts have been derived from the analysis of a consistent number of exfoliated deciduous teeth from contemporary infants with well-known biological life histories. These models constitute the interpretative toolkit to disentangle even subtle variations in individual diet at sub-weekly resolution. Finally, the high-resolution topographic analysis of diagenesis indicators (U, Mn, REE), allows to distinguish the biogenic signal from the diagenetic one in fossil and archaeological specimens. These advances in the study of dental mineralized tissues allow us to deepen our knowledge on the mother-infant nexus in past human populations and to investigate, at the highest possible temporal resolution, women and children survival and adaptation strategies.

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Alessia Nava, « Communication invitée du thème
Analyses invasives, micro-invasives et non-invasives des vestiges anthropobiologiques. Comment et pourquoi ?
Understanding of the maternal-infant nexus in ancient human populations: advanced methods in dental histology and high-resolution compositional biogeochemistry »
Bulletins et mémoires de la Société d’Anthropologie de Paris [En ligne], 35(S) | 2023, mis en ligne le 14 janvier 2023, consulté le 02 février 2023. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/bmsap/10461 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/bmsap.10461

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Alessia Nava

Geochronology and Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory, Institute of Geological Sciences, Polish Academy of Sciences, Kraków, Poland
a.nava[at]ingpan.krakow.pl

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https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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