Louise Bertini

  • Fellowship Dates 2010-2010
  • Research Topic Changes in Suid and Caprine Husbandry Practices throughout Dynastic Egypt using Linear Enamel Hypoplasia
  • Fellow or Grant Type Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
  • Affiliation Pre-doctoral candidate Durham University

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, producing a disruption of enamel secretion. LEH studies have been used as a way to understand the health status and husbandry practices of both ancient and modern animal populations. LEH is the best way to understand the physiological stresses during the development of animals (or humans) because it produces a tangible record that can be seen and recorded from tooth remains. Since there are no data sets that describe the prevalence of LEH in either ancient or modern Egyptian animal material, this research establishes the frequency of LEH in the archaeological remains of pigs, sheep and goats from 11 different ancient Egyptian sites and investigates the links between LEH, possible changes in husbandry practices and geographic and site contexts compared to modern Egyptian pig, sheep and goat data from similar geographical contexts. Nothing on this scale of this research has been done in Egypt before. The research poses several questions: What is the frequency of enamel defects in suids and caprines, and do coherent patterns exist in ancient Egyptian material that reflect ecological setting/husbandry regime? Is there variability with the change from predynastic local subsistence settlements, to the large urban centers of the Old Kingdom? Does this change (if there is one) continue up to and throughout the New Kingdom? How does the archaeological data compare to modern samples from the region today?

TopicsBioarchaeology, Faunal, Information SurveyThemeArchaeological SitesHistoric PeriodFirst Intermediate Period, Middle Kingdom, New Kingdom, Old Kingdom, Predynastic/Early Dynastic, Second Intermediate Period


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