The Duquesne University Department of Classics
is Proud to Present:
“Bodies and Bones in Imperial Rome:
What Biology and Chemistry Reveal about the Past”
Dr. Kristina Killgrove
Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of West Florida
- Scholars have been studying the Roman Empire (1st–4th centuries AD) for centuries, but historical texts and archaeological remains have one major flaw: by and large they reflect the lives of wealthy, elite men. In the last decade, however, thousands of skeletons of the lower classes of Imperial Italy have come to light.
- Romans two millennia ago could not have imagined the scientific advances available to archaeologists today, but their bones and teeth hold a world of information — what they ate, where they came from, and the diseases they suffered.
- This talk focuses on Dr. Killgrove’s work with human skeletons from four different sites in Imperial Italy, first introducing the materials and methods of bioarchaeology and then discussing the results of her analyses within the context of what is currently known about everyday Roman life.
- By subjecting skeletons to modern scientific methods, it is possible to flesh out the historical record and allow the Romans to tell us about their experiences living and dying in the Empire.