Roman Bioarchaeology Carnival XXI
Skeleton and burial news from around the Roman world this past month...
- England. 18 August - A headless skeleton dating to Late Roman/Anglo-Saxon times was found near a Roman town (Venta Icenorum) at Caistor St. Edmund. The remains may represent a female, but the preservation is not great.
|Skeleton from Milton Keynes|
- England. 24 September - A skeleton dating perhaps to the early Anglo-Saxon period was found near Milton Keynes.
- England. 18 September - An antiques expert found a Roman sarcophagus in a backyard in Dorset. It was overgrown with weeds, being used as a planter.
- Spain. 11 September - Archaeologists digging at the Roman city of Baelo Claudia discovered several intact graves; it's unclear if they date to the Roman period or a bit earlier.
- Turkey. 31 August - Bones found during construction for an operahouse in Ankara appear to date to the late Roman period. Examination of the skull revealed the person was male, perhaps 25 to 30 years old at time of death.
- Italy. 7 August - David George of St. Anselm College thinks he's discovered an underground Etruscan burial pyramid. [For more on this, see the Rogue Classicist here and here.]
|Tomb Portrait from Roman Corinth|
- 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.]
- Italy. 17 September - Your obligatory Mona Lisa skeleton news report for the month. tl;dr: They haven't found her and have no real idea where she's buried. 29 September - It was just announced that a tomb will be opened on October 2 live in front of press. Oh goody.
- 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.
- France. 24 September - The Louvre has officially opened a permanent gallery covering the Eastern Mediterranean and Provinces of the Roman Empire.
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