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Bioarchaeology of Frontiers and Borderlands$
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Cristina I. Tica and Debra L. Martin

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781683400844

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9781683400844.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

Isotopes, Migration, and Sex

Isotopes, Migration, and Sex

Investigating the Mobility of the Frontier Inhabitants of Roman Egypt

(p.83) 4 Isotopes, Migration, and Sex
Bioarchaeology of Frontiers and Borderlands

Amanda T. Groff

Tosha L. Dupras

University Press of Florida

The Egyptian oases were dynamic borderlands where culture, economic practices, and politics diverged from the Nile Valley. The cultural identities of the individuals inhabiting these frontiers during the Romano-Christian era (50–450CE) are predominantly lost to history, save for scant textual sources that describe socioeconomic activities. In this chapter, we explore these identities further by utilizing stable oxygen isotope analysis in conjunction with textual sources to discuss the mobility of adults from the Kellis 2 Cemetery, Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt. Results from this analysis indicate females came from isotopically similar environments and were stationary, while males were migrating more frequently for work-related activities. These data complement the limited textual evidence allowing for more detailed reconstruction of economics, kinship, and residence patterns during the Romano-Christian era, and lend to a definition of Egyptian frontier identity.

Keywords:   Stable oxygen isotope, Migration, Roman Egypt, Dakhleh Oasis, Mobility, Kinship, Romano-Christian era

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