April 1, 2013

Roman Bioarchaeology Carnival XXVII

New Finds

Colchester ringfenced burials (credit)

  • 8 March - Remarkable Ringfenced Burials from Roman Colchester (CurrentArchaeology). Wooden ditches and fences dating to the 2nd-3rd centuries AD appear to mark inhumation burials in Colchester.  These clusters are unusual in terms of burial practices in this time and place.
  • 9 March - Domus Aurea: Skeletons of Unknown Burial (Il Messagero).  This Italian news piece reports on a 5th century AD graveyard lying atop Nero's palace.  I haven't seen any further news on the skeletons themselves.
One of the skeletons found at the Domus Aurea (credit)

Articles and Media Coverage

  • 1 March - Most Ancient Romans Ate Like Animals (LiveScience).  This science news outlet covers my latest publication on Roman diet (namely, the possible status difference in millet consumption).  I also talked to the Canadian national radio program Quirks & Quarks about it (9 March), and Krystal D'Costa at Anthropology in Practice (SciAm Blog Network) covered it too (25 March).
Millet-eating Roman
  • 21 March - Roman Ruins Yield Clues About Earthquake Risk in Ancient Times, Today (Huffington Post via LiveScience).  In a recent article, seismologists examined a Roman mausoleum in Turkey and reconstructed the seismological events that would have to have happened for the structure to be in the condition it is today.


  • 6 March - For some reason, the Poggio Civitate bone fragments are back in the news, with Anthony Tuck having issued a press release through U Mass Amherst, which was picked up by PhysOrg.com and possibly other aggregators.  I'll link again to my post, Baby Bones Were Trash to Romans (8 January), dismantling Tuck's sloppy and weak argument.
  • 31 March - Boudicca, the Burger Queen of Brum (Birmingham Mail). And further in famous-dead-people news, archaeologists think they may know where the body of Boudicca (queen of the Iceni, who led a revolt against the Romans in the 1st century AD) lies... underneath a McDonald's in Birmingham, England.

Museum Exhibits and Historical Information
Under the Vatican
in the 1950s (credit)

  • 6 March - The Museum of London blog discuss the "Curious Case of the Dog in Display Case."  It was found in 1984 in a Roman villa, but the mystery of the dog's death and the other zooarchaeological evidence are fascinating.
  • 8 March - Toilet Issue: Anthropologists Uncover All the Ways We've Wiped (Scientific American). This article certainly doesn't cover all the ways that humans have wiped over the millennia (information that anthropologists do have a lot about), but it presents some of the interesting, historical, Western ones, including information on the Romans.


  • 30 March - Cumbrian Chef Recreates Hadrian's Wall Dishes (News and Star).  The recipes re-created by chef John Crouch will be featured on select days at the cafe at Hadrian's Wall (which, as I recall, already has a variety of tasty local- and Roman-themed dishes available).


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