Roman Bioarchaeology Carnival XX

August was not quite as news-filled as July, but there are some interesting finds this month:

  • 2 Aug - A Roman tomb was found in Mondragone (Campania), Italy.  Sounds like there were no human remains found, but there was a bunch of ceramics and a bronze ring.
  • 14 Aug - A necropolis was discovered in the territory of Riardo (Campania), Italy. Plowing uncovered black-glazed vases, pottery, and other artifacts.  The soprintendenza will investigate.  Perhaps my Italian has failed me, but I can't find any information about date on this one.
Eburnation of R shoulder
(photo via S. Haddow)
  • 17 Aug - I just came across the new(ish) blog of Scott Haddow, a bioarchaeologist working at Çatalhöyük. Writing at A Bone to Pick, Haddow has a series of fascinating posts on the skeletons they've been uncovering this summer.  In particular, check out Aug 17 (eburnation of the right shoulder of a Late Roman female) and Aug 3 (which mentions a possible sub-Saharan African woman in a Roman period grave; unfortunately, I don't see a follow-up on the blog).
  • 28 Aug - A murdered child dating to the Roman period has been found at Vindolanda (England). The child was about 10 years old and suffered from a fractured skull.  The child's hands may have been tied.  Interestingly, the report is that the child is from "overseas," but I couldn't find any indication of which isotope/DNA analyses were done or where this find is/will be published.  Seems the child's geographical background was tested for a National Geographic program.  I'd really like to see a publication, though.  Or at least some isotope data. [BBC Coverage]
Murdered child from Roman Vindolanda (photo via BBC)

Scientific Approaches
  • 20 Aug - This profile of the work of Dr. Karin Sowada mentions research done in 2011 on a mummy that was thought to date to the 8th century BC but was actually a Roman-era mummy.
  • 28 Aug - DNA analysis and facial reconstruction were done on what are presumed to be the remains of Zeno, the patron saint of Verona, who died around 380 AD. Not sure why the evaluation of the remains was done by a coroner.  Seems a bioarchaeologist would have been a better choice.

  • 20 Aug - Rosalie David of the University of Manchester has been leading a project to locate thousands of Nubian skeletons and mummies excavated in Egypt between 1907 and 1911.  The remains date to between 4000 BC and 1000 AD and were recovered at the turn of the century following the completion of the Aswan Dam.  David and her colleagues are working to find all the skeletons so they can be fully studied.  There is an associated workshop happening the 29-30 Aug at U Manchester.
Burial from Nubia (photo via PastHorizons)


Anonymous said…
I'm still planning on posting about the possible Sub-Saharan African woman, I'm just not as confident about my assessment as I was originally!
Looking forward to it!

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