April 2, 2012

Roman Bioarchaeology Carnival XV

All your Roman(ish)-skeleton-goings-on from the month of March.  I might have to start posting every other week again now that the weather is nice and excavations have picked back up...

Excavations and Finds

Female skeleton, Roccaforzata
Imperial-period skeleton found in Rome (credit)
Early Christian burial from England (credit)
Discussions and News
  • 4 March - Slate talks to Alain Touwaide, the director of the Institute for the Preservation of Medical Traditions at the Smithsonian, about medicine in antiquity, with a lot of discussion of the Hippocratic corpus and the Greco-Roman healing tradition.
  • 28 March - Turkey is demanding the return of a Roman sarcophagus (2nd century BC) which was taken illegally from the province of Antalya and found by customs officers in Geneva.
  • 29 March - Fun little post at BrainPicker on ancient Romans' beliefs about animals, drawn from the writing of Aelian, including such gems as: "Cranes have some sort of power which arouses women and causes them to dispense sexual favors."
Museum Exhibits and Conferences
  • 6 March - Mildenhall Museum (UK) will be displaying the burial of a warrior and his horse, dating to about 500 AD (late Roman / early Anglo-Saxon).  The graveyard where he was found contains over 400 additional burials.
  • 24 March - The 300 or so skeletons recovered from Herculaneum in the 1980s will be returned to the site, and about 150 of them will be displayed starting in April.  This is very cool news; if I'm in Italy this summer, I want to head down and check them out (also, I've been to Pompeii but never to Herculaneum).  Some of the earliest work in Roman bioarch was done on the Herculaneum collection by Sara Bisel, including very early trace element analysis.
Skeletons from Herculaneum (79 AD) (credit)
Blog Posts and Articles
Infant burial with egg, from the
Vatican necropolis (credit)


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