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The mystery of the headless Romans ??
#1
The York Archaeological Trust have set up this website.
The mystery of the headless Romans


During 2004 and 2005, York Archaeological Trust undertook excavations in advance of building work on two sites close to the line of one of the main roads out of the Roman town.
The archaeologists thought there would be Roman burials there, as Roman cemeteries were often placed alongside roads, and many Roman burials had been found in the area in the past.
What was found?

The excavations found 80 burials, of which 60 were mostly complete. Almost all were male, and the vast majority were adults. These people were an average of some 2cms taller than the average male from Roman Britain, and they were more heavily built. This is a very unusual type of population for a cemetery.


They have a poll to ask whether it was Religious, military, gladiators or not enough evidence.

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Now to add my tuppence... and you know I am a staunch YAT supporter.. but!!!

The Channel 4 programme about it on Monday Gladiators: Back from the Dead


It had so many ... hmmm "thats a bit of a leap" moments, that had me reaching for occams razor to whittle it down to what we did know.

First thing that struck me was how the UCLAN boffins seemed to be the ones who had discovered all these fascinating facts.. the arms lengths, the bite marks the tooth evidence for birthplace of individuals... then a kindly soul pointed me to the original programme from 2006 http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/programmes/...s_01.shtml
The Timewatch: Mystery of the headless Romans.
here they are in 2006 :
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There we discover that ... er..

Quote:To answer this question we needed to look into the teeth of the dead men. Scientist Janet Montgomery from Bradford University took one tooth from each of six skeletons. These were then analysed for their oxygen and strontium isotopes. The results were amazing the geological signatures told us that we had three men from Northern Europe, which includes Britain, one from the Alps, one from the Mediterranean, and the final one from north Africa.
So what was with the recent shots of UCLAN investigating er... six skeletons and finding out that "we had three men from Northern Europe, one from the Alps, one from the Mediterranean, and the final one from north Africa."

How curious..

as were the shackles.. and lets not overlook that for several months the human bone specialist Katie Tucker from the Trust had been making a detailed examination of every bone on every skeleton found at the site. I saw no mention of her work, though it seems she found the same marks, measurements etc..

Finally.. well there is quite a bit that annoyed me about the programme... from the 'FACT' that this was a gladiator graveyard from the start... was the amazing and credulity stretching remarkable coincidence that picking 6 random skellies (that remember had already been looked at 4 years before) represented 6 different gladiators... how lucky is that!

er... this one had...er.. arms.. so must be er..this type of gladiator. etc.

Lion or big dog? it would have been better to have two canine marks to check the width of bite.

Anyway... the website allows for choice... though I would like more evidence... have a look at vote...

but if you put anything other than 'not enough evidence to decide" I'll come and chop yer head off! :face-kiss:
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Messages In This Thread
The mystery of the headless Romans ?? - by BAJR - 17th June 2010, 09:47 AM

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