Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Chinese skeletons indicate Chinese in Roman Britain!

Talk about an amazing find changing long held assumptions....Chinese skeletons found in London date between the 2nd and 4th centuries AD. This is the first time Asian skeletal remains from Roman Britain have been identified and also only the 3rd or 4th time they've ever been found in what was the Roman Empire and only the second they've been found at a verified Roman site. Identification of the Asian people was made through dental enamel samples. They were clearly not born in Britain. Prior to this, one man's remains, believed to be Asian, were found in Italy. This changes long held archaeological and historical assumptions about the homogeneous society of Roman Britain and the relationships between the two empires of China and Rome. The empires may have had more interaction than ever imagined, probably trade between the two. Trade was believed mostly to have occurred in the Mediterranean. That Asian traders would have come to London was never seriously considered by historians apparently until now. The skeletal remains could be of soldiers, traders, or slaves. I hope they do further tests as slaves usually have stress marks on their bones from overwork or their teeth show poor nutrition. Hopefully more results will be published on this very interesting discovery soon. Read more about it here http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/archaeology/chinese-skeleton-discovery-roman-history-society-southwark-cemetery-asian-remains-a7330666.html     and hear the lead curator discuss it on BBC Radio here http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37452287

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