Roman Bioarchaeology Carnival VIII

I'm surprised at the lack of skeletons found in Italy this month.  It's the rainy season, so perhaps there's not as much excavation going on, but at the same time, rain has a way of unearthing skeletons on its own.  At any rate, most of the news for this carnival is from yours truly...

Santa Croce Camerina skeleton
  • Nov 9 - MIT's William Broadhead has developed a new theory about the Roman Republic, namely that it must have been pretty demographically diverse.  I addressed Broadhead's theory with some Sr/O data from Republican skeletons in my post "Demography of Republican Rome."
  • Nov 11 - In Calabria, excavations at Santa Croce Camerina revealed a 6th century AD skeleton near the Byzantine church of Pirrera.  The skeleton appears to be male.  Oddly, they also found three skulls in or near the burial.  The news item doesn't specifically say that the skulls were human, and since they were found near an amphora I'm going to guess they were faunal.
  • Nov 11 - My newly launched Roman DNA Project got covered on CNN and Forbes because of the "99% of ancient Rome" angle.  I was thrilled to get the attention, and the pilot phase of the project is now fully funded.  Over on the project's blog, I put up a post about our research goals.  We'll start analysis in January, hopefully getting results before summer.
New Analyses/Summaries/Articles
Evidence of crucifixion
(Maslen & Mitchell 2006)
Field Schools


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