February 28, 2014

Roman Bioarchaeology Carnival XXXVIII

Some neat stuff this month...

  • 1 February -- Centuries old Beachy Head Lady's face revealed (BBC News). A woman who died in Roman Britain around 245 AD has had her face reconstructed from her skull. The news report is actually quite confusing, since at the beginning it says she's from sub-Saharan Africa, and at the end it says she grew up in East Sussex.
Facial reconstruction of the "Beachy Head Lady"
Skeletons recovered near the Uffizi galleries. (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)
  • 26 February -- Anglo-Saxon Cemetery Results Question Violent Invasion Theory (Past Horizons). New research suggests that the transition from Roman rule after the fall of the Empire was largely cultural (and not a violent invasion).  These sorts of studies are incredibly important, as much of the discussion about acculturation in the Roman world is still focused on forcible changes to/from "Roman" and "other."
  • 26 February -- Genotyping of ancient Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains reveals historic genetic diversity, by Muller, Roberts, and Brown in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, includes data from at least one Roman-era skeleton with evidence of tuberculosis.  By studying skeletons from a wide range of time periods, the authors have shown different strains and ways the bacterium could have evolved over time.

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