Through the Microscope: A Look at Early and Late Christian Diet in Nubia

Cummings, Linda Scott
    Paleo Research Institute, 2675 Youngfield St., Golden, Colorado, 80401 USA (

Coprolites associated with individuals excavated from two cemeteries at Kulubnarti in Sudanese Nubia provided a rich record of pollen, phytoliths, macrofloral remains, and bones, reflecting diet. These cemeteries represent ancient agricultural cummunities of the early Christian period (AD 550-750) and the later Christian period, which terminated in the mid-15th century. Study of these coprolites is unique in that each coprolite is associated with a body, providing age and sex information. Further population comparisons may be made between observations of nutritional completeness, based on the coprolite evidence, and evidence of nutritional deficiencies noted by separate hair and skeletal analyses. In addition, diachronic comparisons of diet are possible.