Archaeology of Agriculture
Start 18:00, End 19:00
Sensitive little souls: Using children to assess the agricultural transition and its effect on human health and society
Human skeletons have the capacity to reveal the story of ancient lives. Dr Siân Halcrow’s research is focused on child health and disease in the past. Using the chemistry of bone and teeth and evidence for disease, we can assess what food people ate, when children where weaned and their quality of life.
This talk will showcase recent research that shows the importance of the investigation of health near the start of life to answer major questions about our past. Dr Halcrow's work explores the question of how human life changed with the beginnings of agriculture, one of the most significant economic changes in human history. "Using an approach that assesses case studies in diverse regions," says Dr Halcrow, "we find that patterns of health change are regionally specific. Our application of new methods in studying humans from the past show the intricate relationship between the mother and child and their stories of stress."
“This research advances our scientific understandings of the impact of the adoption of agriculture on human biology, an event that has far-reaching consequences for today’s society.”
Associate Professor Siân Halcrow
Department of Anatomy, University of Otago