Between teaching, researching, and applying for jobs, I have not had as much time as I'd like to blog. That partly explains the delay in this installment of the Roman bioarchaeology carnival, but the other reason for the delay is that, well, not much has happened in the past two weeks that I'd consider particularly Roman bioarchaeological. I have, therefore, just a few offerings for this carnival...
TB or Not TB
|Map of Poundbury Camp. Fig. 1, Lewis 2011.|
|New bone formation on the visceral|
surface of the ribs. Fig 5, Lewis 2011.
The presence of TB in children leads Lewis to conclude that the incidence in the adult population was probably higher, as children tend to get TB from adults and also tend to grow up to become adults with TB (if they survive, of course). Whether the percentage of subadults with TB is 6% or 4%, this frequency is much higher than expected for Romano-British Poundbury. The presence of TB in children in this sample suggests that people were living close together, and perhaps close to their animals as well. Lewis concludes by suggesting that TB may well have been endemic in this population.
|Mmm, tasty human. Grouper likee.|
Bardo Nat'l Museum, Tunis
I find it quite interesting that ancient mosaics have proven useful to conservation biologists. In terms of diet, we need to think about what the aquatic species looked like in the past. If groupers were large, tasty, and easy to catch, Romans may have eaten their fair share. Assumptions about the kinds of aquatic resources consumed based on contemporary fish populations may therefore be wrong.
Roman Funerals in Gaul
|Excavation at Epiedes-en-Beauce|
This discovery could be interesting, but I suspect that lots of little Roman-era burial sites are uncovered in France and other parts of the Empire. Depending on the condition of the bones and teeth and the number of individuals recovered, though, the human remains could form a nice little dataset for understanding life in rural Gaul.
Well, hopefully in another two weeks' time, I'll have some more interesting Roman bioarchaeology news for you!
* See also news from the 1st Roman Bioarch carnival, on a child skeleton found at Durnovaria.
M.E. Lewis (2011). Tuberculosis in the non-adults from Romano-British Poundbury Camp, Dorset, England. International Journal of Paleopathology, 1 (1), 12-23. DOI : 10.1016/j.ijpp.2011.02.002.