The focus of this thesis is to learn more about the diets and lives of Nubian individuals who lived on Sai Island during the Meroitic period (250 BC to AD 250) using an approach based in life history, gender, and social identity theory. These individuals were in buried the cemetery 8-B-52.B and they were part of the elite social class. Dietary analysis was conducted by analyzing the stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes from bulk samples of human bone collagen. A total of 34 bone samples were analyzed, and 31 of those samples were determined to be well-preserved. These data were combined with data from 54 additional 8-B-52.B samples that were generated by Raisor (2020). Mann-Whitney U tests were used to test for statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) in this combined 8-B-52.B data set by comparing the carbon and nitrogen isotope values of the individuals divided into groups based on age or sex estimates. No statistically significant differences were found between the male and female individuals for the carbon or the nitrogen values. However, there were statistically significant differences between d13C values of the infants to when compared to all age groups, except the young adults, and the adolescents compared to the young and old adults. There were also statistically significant differences between the d15N values of the perinates compared to all groups, except the young adults, and the infants compared to all age groups. The general trends in the data suggested subtle variation in the diets of the male and female individuals, but most of the isotopic variation in the sample was likely caused by the lingering biological effects of different diets during different ages. Overall, these individuals consumed a combination of both C3 and C4-based foods in varying proportions, and it seems elite Nubians had similar diets after childhood.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Lotze, Rachel, "The Use of Stable Carbon and Nitrogen Isotope Analyses to Examine Diet, Life Course, and Social Identities Among the Meroitic Elite of Sai Island, Sudan" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1609.