Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Osterholtz, Anna

Committee Member

Zuckerman, Molly

Committee Member

Miller, D. Shane

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Complete embargo for 2 years

Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Applied Anthropology

Degree Name

Master of Arts


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures


This research investigates maternal nutritional status through the analysis of young infants (N=27) that are likely pre-weaned from two Roman occupational periods at Put Dragulina. Because young infants are solely dependent on the nutritional status of their mother while in utero and postpartum through the consumption of breast milk, the presence of skeletal pathologies positively associated to nutritional deficiencies on the remains of young infants can be analyzed to reconstruct the nutritional status of the infant’s mother. This study finds that 89% (N=24) of young infants, regardless of occupational period, presented with skeletal pathologies consistent with nutritional deficiencies. These results suggest that the mothers who are absent from the Put Dragulina cemetery would have likely had poor nutritional statuses due to the high frequencies of nutritional stress indicators present on the skeletal remains of their infants.


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