International Journal of Human Diversity and Evolution
Coverage: 1923-1941 (Vols. I-XIX) & 1962-2023 (Vols. 1-61)
ISSN 0323-1119 (Print)
ISSN 2570-9127 (Online)
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'Smrčka V, Jambor J, Salaš M, Strouhal E, 1998: Reconstruction of the Diet in Wadi Qitna, Egyptian Nubia. Anthropologie (Brno) 36, 3: 267-274'.
Chemical analysis of the elements in skeletal remains shows which sources of elements were predominant in the diet of a certain population. The cemetery of Wadi Qitna situated on the left bank of the Nile, 65 km south of Asuan can serve as an example of unsuitable diet which led even to premature osteoporosis. The cemetery was used for burials from the half of the third century to the fifth century A.D. In this burial ground we have found significantly lower concentration of strontium in the proximal parts of the femurs in the individuals approximately of the age of 30. Reduction was also found in zinc and copper. Both male and female parts of the population were affected by the lower concentration. These conditions could be brought about by unleavened bread containing a large quantity of phytates which can combine with some elements so much that they are not usable any more, thus reducing considerably their effective concentration in the diet. This kind of bread is typical for Egyptian and Nubian villages. Remains of this bread of roughground flour were found also in the graves. The development of premature osteoporosis could be also caused by geophagy. At the same time also such parasites as a hookworm, ankylostomiasis and schizostomiasis could play a part in the loss of the elements.
Egyptian Nubia - Premature osteoporosis - Diet - Bones - Trace elements

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