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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Staff and Governance

Core Staff

The day-to-day running of IMEMS is the responsibility of the Core Executive Committee, comprising the Director and Associate Directors and the Administrator. 

Publication details for Dr Andrew R Millard

King, C. L., Snoddy, A. M., Millard, A. R., Grocke, D. R., Standen, V. G., Arriaza, B. T. & Halcrow, S. E. (2018). A multifaceted approach towards interpreting early life experience and infant feeding practices in the ancient Atacama Desert, Northern Chile. International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 28(5): 599-612.

Author(s) from Durham


Interpreting early life experience in the past is of considerable interest to archaeologists, yet remains fraught with difficulty. Children are sensitive barometers of population health in general. In addition, infant feeding practices, and stresses experienced during infancy and childhood, have important effects on adult health and demographic changes. Understanding how diet and physiological stress interact is therefore of significance, but most bony indicators of stress have non‐specific etiologies that cannot be tied to events during childhood. The recent advent of incremental isotopic techniques means we now have the potential to identify periods of stress and dietary change during childhood through changes to stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic ratios during tissue formation. Being able to establish these individual weaning trajectories allows us to consider individuality in past weaning choices, giving the bioarchaeologist a more nuanced picture of the past. Here, we investigate whether combining paleopathological and isotopic data can give insight into the synergy between infant feeding and stress. We present a case study of a 5‐year‐old child from an early agricultural period archaeological site in the northern Atacama Desert, Chile. We show that, despite physiological stress likely affecting isotopic ratios in this individual, a weaning curve is visible and the interpretation of weaning behaviour is possible. In addition, we suggest that there is isotopic evidence for a micronutrient deficient weaning diet that may be correlated with bony evidence for pathology.

Full Executive Committee

Our Full Executive Committee is made up of the Core Executive Committee, listed above, plus a number of executive members including:

International Advisory Board

We are extremely fortunate to have be able to call on the help and guidance of colleagues from around the world who help to shape and guide our direction, strategy and international reach. Our current Advisory Board members are: