July 1, 2013

Roman Bioarchaeology Carnival 30

Oddly, not a lot happened this month in the world of Roman bioarchaeology.  Maybe everyone's gearing up to find or report on new things in July and August.  (There was a ton of Medieval cemetery news this month; wonder if that's the next big frontier in bioarchaeology?)

News and Finds

  • 12 June.  Iron Age tombs in Serbia were discovered during construction.  A bit outside the purview of Roman bioarch, but interesting nonetheless.
    Iron Age tomb from Serbia (credit)
  • 16 June.  A Roman tombstone from Oxfordshire (England) is going on display.  It dates to 79 AD and records the passing of an Italian-born soldier Lucius Valerius Geminus.
79 AD tombstone from Oxfordshire (credit)
  • 28 June. Evidence of 2000-year-old Famine Found in Jerusalem. (Discovery News)  Archaeologists think that three cooking pots and an oil lamp are evidence of food that was squirreled away by Jewish residents of Jerusalem during its siege by the Romans around 66 AD.  I wonder if there's any osteological evidence of the famine from skeletons in the area?
  • 28 June. Skeleton family set for field reburial. (Daventry Express)  Six skeletons (female, three males, an adolescent, and an infant) were found during routine excavations in 2004 in Nether Heyford (Northamptonshire, UK).  They apparently date to the 5th-6th centuries, which is a just post-Roman time period without a lot of skeletal evidence in England.  Archaeologists think the "family" might have been of foreign origin; they are keeping teeth for future DNA work, but the remainder of the skeletons will be reburied this week.
  • 27 June. In search of the lost city (El Pais). A Visigothic cemetery outside of Madrid (c. 5th-8th centuries AD, so just post-Roman) is apparently slated for destruction because it has "no significance."  Archaeologists, however, want more time to look for the settlement that they assume is associated with this large (c. 1,500 burials!) cemetery.
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