Roman Bioarchaeology Carnival VIII
I'm surprised at the lack of skeletons found in Italy this month. It's the rainy season, so perhaps there's not as much excavation going on, but at the same time, rain has a way of unearthing skeletons on its own. At any rate, most of the news for this carnival is from yours truly...
|Santa Croce Camerina skeleton|
- Nov 9 - MIT's William Broadhead has developed a new theory about the Roman Republic, namely that it must have been pretty demographically diverse. I addressed Broadhead's theory with some Sr/O data from Republican skeletons in my post "Demography of Republican Rome."
- Nov 11 - In Calabria, excavations at Santa Croce Camerina revealed a 6th century AD skeleton near the Byzantine church of Pirrera. The skeleton appears to be male. Oddly, they also found three skulls in or near the burial. The news item doesn't specifically say that the skulls were human, and since they were found near an amphora I'm going to guess they were faunal.
- Nov 11 - My newly launched Roman DNA Project got covered on CNN and Forbes because of the "99% of ancient Rome" angle. I was thrilled to get the attention, and the pilot phase of the project is now fully funded. Over on the project's blog, I put up a post about our research goals. We'll start analysis in January, hopefully getting results before summer.
|Evidence of crucifixion|
(Maslen & Mitchell 2006)
- Nov 4 - I wrote a post about the bioarchaeology of crucifixion, which got quite a bit of traffic from being profiled on The Browser and on The Daily Beast. Long story short: there is all of one example of crucifixion from the ancient world. I explore the possible reasons for this and suggest we Roman bioarchaeologists keep our eyes open for other potential examples.
- Nov 5 - An interesting blog post (with illustrations) on Roman medicine and medical instruments.
- Nov 8 - Katy Meyers at Bones Don't Lie summarized the recent AJPA article by Redfern and DeWitt on health in Roman Britain (Dorset), in which the authors argue that health outcomes are mediated by social status.
- Nov 10 - Katy also summarized the latest news out of the Kenchreai Cemetery Project. Joe Rife of the classics department here at Vanderbilt is doing awesome work, with the collaboration of Doug Ubelaker, in looking at burial rites and cremated remains from the Roman period in this Greek cemetery.
- Nov 4 - The Museum of Natural History in Basel has a temporary exhibition of part of their 10,000-skeleton collection from various time periods.