August 8, 2012

Roman Bioarchaeology Carnival XIX

I'm a bit late posting the Roman bioarchaeology news for the month of July because of my move and new job, but there's a great deal to report on as a result of summer excavations.  Rather than date of announcement, this month the news will be organized based on the historical period the remains are from.

Etruscan

  • Marsiliana, Italy.  Centuries' worth of Etruscan remains are being found thanks to excavation by the Association Etruria Nova.  The 8th-7th c BC necropolis of Macchiabuia, for instance, includes around 40 tombs.  Cremated remains have been found, generally two or more individuals in each tomb.  One tomb interestingly has two cremated individuals (possibly male and female adults) and one inhumed individual (a child), suggesting differential burial practices.  The link above gets you more information about the project, the finds, and the field school.
Pre-Roman (Provinces)
  • Silchester, England. An extensive excavation is finding new information about pre-Roman Britain (1st century BC), particularly in terms of diet.  And it seems that Silchester was pretty much "Roman" before the Roman conquest.  This site has important implications for our continued revision of the idea of "romanization" of the colonies.  (Oh, and there's a skeleton of a little "sacrificial" dog.)
  • Alken, Denmark.  Roughly 200 skeletons have been found in the Jutland peninsula of Denmark dating to around the 1st c BC-1st c AD.  Technically, the Romans never reached that far north, but the traumatic injuries to many of the individuals buried in this cemetery suggest violence, possibly related to the political and social upheaval that was happening just to the south with the onslaught of the Roman army.  DNA analysis is ongoing and should prove very interesting.
Roman Imperial
Decapitation burial in Norfolk
(via BBC)
Early Christian/Late Antiquity
Soldier excavating an Anglo-
Saxon skeleton in Salisbury
(via Medievalists)
Medieval and later
Exhibits
"La Bambina di Fidene," a trepanned Roman child,
now on display at the new Museum of the History
of Medicine in Rome (photo via La Repubblica)
Other News

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