September 28, 2012

Roman Bioarchaeology Carnival XXI

Skeleton and burial news from around the Roman world this past month...


New Finds
Skeleton from Milton Keynes
(credit)
  • Greece. 31 August - A Roman tomb (3rd century AD) was found recently in Corinth.  Two urns were recovered, one of which held the burial of a female, likely the woman who was depicted on the walls of the tomb reclining on a bed. [And a blog post on the find in English.]

Continuing Sagas
  • Tunisia. 19 September - There is an ongoing debate about whether the thousands of babies found at the Tophet in Carthage represent evidence of human sacrifice. Jeffrey Schwartz and his colleagues don't think so based on their assessment of age-at-death, and they published this in 2010.  In 2011, Pat Smith published an alternate age estimation for the population, suggesting sacrifice is a possible explanation.  Just recently, Schwartz and colleagues published another article refuting Smith's claims.  The issue is far from settled, and it's an interesting case-study showing that, for all we can tell from the skeletons, the questions of behavior and intent are never straightforward.

Museum Exhibits

And as a reminder, if you want to keep up on all the latest in bioarchaeology news from around the world (not just the Romans!), please "like" Powered by Osteons on Facebook.

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