September 10, 2008

Di dove siete?

I'm still working on trying to figure out where my immigrants came from. There is a band of cenozoic limestones that runs from north of Tivoli down nearly to Naples, it seems. But one published study had some .708 ratios in the Roccamonfina area, narrowing that range to northish of Naples. What was northish of Naples in ancient times? Gaeta has a ton of this kind of rock. It was an ancient town connected to Rome by the Appian Way, a place where the richer folk retired for vacations along the coast. Nearby was Sperlonga, where Tiberius built his cave-like villa from which we get a bunch of famous sculpture. I do hate to jump to conclusions with little data at this point, but wouldn't it be cool if these immigrants grew up in Gaeta or Sperlonga? If their parents were slaves or merchants? Gaeta is 135km/85mi from Rome, and the new google maps helpfully tell me that's 28 hours of walking. So not a terrible distance to migrate.

Barring any unforseen discoveries at the library, I think this is going in my abstract for AAPA. Gaeta seems as reasonable a place as any other. Also cool will be to look at the diet of these immigrants - I might even have to send in some teeth for C/N analysis, as a strong signature of seafood would more or less confirm that these people were from Gaeta or its environs.

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