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Kelsey Museum of Archaeology pres.

FAST Lecture: Diet and Health in Imperial Rome: The View from Skeletons and Isotopes

Kristina Killgrove, University of West Florida

FAST lecture FAST lecture
FAST lecture
Urban Rome during the Empire is considered a place with high disease load and mortality, affecting lower-class inhabitants of the city more so than elite. What we know about the Roman diet is also dichotomous: the rich dined well on a variety of foods, while the poor ate wheat, olive oil, and wine. But most of this information is drawn from notoriously biased historical records. New, interdisciplinary approaches to researching Roman health have arisen recently in anthropology. By combining data from carbon and nitrogen isotope analyses of skeletal material with lead concentration and palaeopathological analyses, the average Roman can be seen in a new light. This talk will focus on the contributions that osteological and chemical analyses of three cemetery populations can make to our understanding of Roman diets and health.

FAST lectures are free and open to the public.

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