University of Oulu

Väre, T., Lipkin, S., & Núñez, M. (2022). Notes on early childhood diets in early modern Oulu, Finland, based on the stable isotope case studies of archeological dentin. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, 32( 6), 1275– 1284.

Notes on early childhood diets in early modern Oulu, Finland, based on the stable isotope case studies of archeological dentin

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Author: Väre, Tiina1,2; Lipkin, Sanna1; Núñez, Milton1
Organizations: 1Archaeology, History, Culture and Communications, Faculty of Humanities, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: John Wiley & Sons, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-01-19


In mid-18th-century Sweden, the newly enhanced census records revealed higher-than-expected infant mortality rates in certain regions of the kingdom. This convinced contemporary elite men of common women deliberately refusing to breastfeed out of vanity and lack of care. One of the worst regions in terms of infant mortality was the province of Ostrobothnia, located in the area of what is now Finland. To explore the allegations, we measured the carbon (δ¹³C) and nitrogen (δ¹⁵N) stable isotope ratios in the collagen of incremental crown dentin segments of the permanent first molars (M1) of six individuals excavated from the early modern churchyard of the town of Oulu, Ostrobothnia. The results do not directly support the worries over the lack of breastfeeding but imply a variety of related practices in Oulu at the time.

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Series: International journal of osteoarchaeology
ISSN: 1047-482X
ISSN-E: 1099-1212
ISSN-L: 1047-482X
Volume: 32
Issue: 6
Pages: 1275 - 1284
DOI: 10.1002/oa.3164
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 615 History and archaeology
Funding: This study was supported by the Academy of Finland (Grant Numbers 323428, 309607, and 322783).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 323428
Detailed Information: 323428 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
309607 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
322783 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.