May 30, 2014

Roman Bioarchaeology Carnival XLI

It's still pretty quiet in the world of Roman bioarchaeology, but I keep thinking this'll change as soon as summer excavations start trumpeting their findings to the news media, maybe around August or September.  Until then, I'm stretching the time-period of "Roman" bioarchaeology a bit to bring you some interesting news...

New Finds and Theories

  • 13 May - "Mummified fetus found in tiny ancient Egyptian sarcophagus" (Discovery News). A tiny sarcophagus from about 600 B.C. was long thought to be some sort of fake, but a new CT scan has revealed a fetus of about 12 to 16 weeks' gestation. Iconography is consistent with male individuals, but DNA analysis of the fetus hasn't been done to confirm.
Worsley Man (credit: Manchester Evening News)
  • 16 May - "Groundbreaking scan reveals evidence of ritual human sacrifice... in Salford [UK]" (Manchester Evening News). So-called Worsley Man's head was found in a bog in the 1950s.  He's thought to date to about 100 AD.  A recent 3D CT scan found a sharp, pointy object in his neck, which archaeologists seem to think was a ceremonial spear.  His injuries also included lots of blunt trauma to his head, and he was strangled and decapitated.  Not sure why this is "ritual human sacrifice" and not "someone did some nasty things to this man." 
  • 27 May - "2,300-year-old false tooth removed in northern France" (The Guardian). The headline is kind of nonsensical if you read it too many times, but it seems a burial of a woman was found in which she had an iron post placed into a tooth socket after her death. Kind of cool to see some postmortem dentistry, though, in pre-Roman times.

Articles (New and Newly Online)

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