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Changes in Suid and Caprine husbandry practices throughout dynastic Egypt using linear enamel hypoplasia (LEH)

Linear enamel hypoplasia (LEH) is the most commonly identified form of enamel defect in teeth. Defined as a deficiency in enamel thickness encountered during dental development, LEH can occur as horizontal lines or depressions of irregular enamel, or clusters of pitting on the enamel surface. These defects are caused by physiological stresses such as disease or poor nutrition, causing a disruption of enamel secretion. Studies on LEH have been used as a way to understand the health status and husbandry practices of both ancient and modern animal populations. As there are no data that describe the prevalence of LEH in either ancient or modern Egyptian animal material, this thesis aims to establish the frequency of LEH in the archaeological remains of pigs and caprines (sheep and goat) from thirteen different ancient Egyptian sites, investigating the links between LEH, possible changes in husbandry practices, geographic, as well as site contexts, and compare it to modern Egyptian pig and caprine data from similar geographic contexts. Results indicate that enamel hypoplasia is common throughout the thirteen different sites throughout Egypt discussed in this thesis. These defects are related to key events in the animal’s life such as weaning, nutritional stresses associated with winter, along with environmental stresses and diachronic changes including the annual flood of the Nile (which is known to change over time) and management choices (i.e. sites with free-ranging versus penned animals).
Date January 2011
CreatorsBertini, Louise Catherine
PublisherDurham University
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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