Clues about human migration to Imperial Rome
|Skull of skeleton T15, a 35- to 50-year-old male who was buried in a cemetery|
in the modern neighborhood of Casal Bertone, Rome, Italy. Isotope ratios
suggest he may have been born near the Alps
[Credit: Kristina Killgrove]
They found up to eight individuals who were likely migrants from outside Rome, possibly from North Africa and the Alps. The individuals were mostly children and men, and the authors suggest their burial in a necropolis indicates that they may have been poor or even slaves. They also found that their diet probably changed significantly when they moved to Rome, possibly adapting to the local cuisine, comprising mostly wheat and some legumes, meat and fish. The authors note that further isotope and DNA analysis is needed to provide more context for their findings. Nonetheless, they state that their study provides the first physical evidence of individual migrants to Rome during this period.
Source: PLOS [February 11, 2016]