Some pretty interesting stuff this month in Roman bioarchaeology:
- 4 December - Intact, Packed Etruscan Tomb Found (Discovery News). A 4th century BC tomb was found in Perugia, and it has two sarcophagi (one from a man named Lars) and a bunch of other stuff. Finding an unlooted Etruscan tomb is always nice. There are skeletal remains, so these will add significant info to a fairly small sample of Etruscan skeletons that exists currently.
|Lid of newly discovered Etruscan sarcophagus. (Credit: Discovery News)|
- 10 December - Pick the Bones Out of That! 23 Skeletons Found at Mass Roman Burial Site in Lincoln (Lincolnshire Echo). This is perhaps the largest burial found in Lincoln (U.K.), and possibly related to the Roman fort in the area. Osteological analysis of the skeletons, of course, is planned.
|Roman-era skeleton found in Lincoln. Is it just me, or do those femora|
look weird? Is this actually one burial on top of another one? Those
femora are face-down, no? (Credit: Licolnshire Echo)
- 21 December - Archaeologists Study Scythian Nomad Graves (Past Horizons). The Scythians were nomadic peoples on the periphery of the Roman Empire, sometimes interacting with them, and sometimes not. Archaeologists found and excavated three mound tombs this year in the Russian north Altai.
- 28 December - 500 Tombs Dating Back 2,000 Years Found in Umm al Quwain (The National). A ton of stone cist-type graves were found in the UAE dating to 100 AD, along with, the report notes, currencies from Alexander the Great, pottery and coins from Italy, and other objects from Persia and India. Seems this site was quite the well-connected metropolis. It'll be exciting to learn more about it and how it was related to the rest of the Old World at the time of the Roman Empire.
|One of the skeletons from the Umm |
al Quwain tombs. (Credit: The National)
Other Roman-Era Skeleton News
- 23 January - The Real Face of Jesus (Popular Mechanics). I seem to have missed this one earlier this year, but it was of course recirculating for Christmas. There are many things that one can complain about with this reconstruction, but it's always nice to see Jesus not looking like a long-haired European dude.
- 8 December - This One Bone Is the Only Skeletal Evidence of Crucifixion in the Ancient World (Forbes). I revised and reprised a perennial favorite post from Powered by Osteons for Forbes. It's shorter, less annotated, and lacks the cheeky Monty Python reference to appeal to a broader audience.
- 17 December - Bones of Saint Nicholas Reveal What Santa Claus Really Looked Like (Forbes). As above, I capitalized on the Christmas season to write a post about the latest reconstruction of Saint Nick from his bones. (Did you know that they supposedly exude a sweet-smelling liquid?)
|Relics of Saint Nicholas that remain in Myra, Turkey. (Credit: Forbes)|
Thanks, everyone, for reading the Roman Bioarchaeology Carnival this year! I'll be back in a month with more news that I've collected.
As always, you can get news as it breaks by following me on Facebook at my Powered by Osteons page, where there are over 5,000 people reading, sharing, and commenting on osteological news from around the world.