December 1, 2014

Roman Bioarchaeology Carnival LXVI

Not too much Roman stuff this month, so I've thrown in some ancient Greek news as well...

Roman Stuff

Roman-era finger bones

  • 3 November - Remains may have been rural Roman farmers (Archaeology). Two Roman-period skeletons were found in Worcestershire, England.  Possibly farmhands, both bodies seem to have evidence of hard work.  This pic of interphalangeal joint facets looks particularly rough. More on the find, with pictures of the hobnails from the female's shoes, at Worcester News.
  • 14 November - Latrines, sewers show varied ancient Roman diet ( Loads of cool info on the average Roman diet is being found at Pompeii and Herculaneum.  This press release/coverage of a conference presentation is notable for a very bad picture of a deciduous incisor, which was found in one of the sewers of Herculaneum.
Greek Stuff
  • 22 November - Skeleton found at Amphipolis tomb site (eKathimerini).  No real details, except that more info was supposed to be presented at a press release on 29 November.  14 November - Member of the royal family of Macedonia (Alpha TV interviewed bioarchaeologist Maria Liston, and she can be seen talking in English a few minutes in). Liston, of course, says that everything is pure speculation at this point. And speaking of speculation, the Daily Mail (of course) claims that "analysis of the skeleton discovered in an underground vault [at Amphipolis] has revealed that the person who was buried there was male and was probably an important general. He was of medium height with pale skin and brown or red hair, they said, suggesting that the remains could could [sic] well belong to [sic] blue-eyed king."  Turns out, the Mail is conflating what researchers think some Macedonians looked like with what researchers found out about the skeleton (as we can't tell skin, hair, or eye color from skeletons).  And finally, breaking photos of the Amphipolis skeleton... from someone's crappy cell phone camera, in the dark, at a press conference.  Oh jeez.  If proper photos and information ever comes out about this skeleton, I will certainly cover it here.  But right now, it's all a bunch of ridiculous speculation.


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