Bioarchaeology meets the little Romans
Bioarchaeology, or the study of human skeletal remains from archaeological contexts, tackles questions in the search for answers about human life in the past, generating a synthesis of techniques from archaeology, history, physical anthropology, paleopathology and chemistry. The study of childhood is a topic that is currently gaining significant interest among bioarchaeologists, contributing to the better understanding of what was to be a child in the past. Roman childhood in specific has been the focus of research primarily using documentary and archaeological evidence, while relatively few non-adult skeletal assemblages from this era have been analyzed.
However, the bioarchaeology of Roman children is not just about children themselves but also about the interaction with their natural and cultural environment. To this extent the study of the Aventicum children (1st-3rd c. AD) offers a new bioarchaeological perspective on mortality and disease patterns during childhood in Roman Switzerland, adding to the discussion regarding living conditions in the urban centers at the periphery of the Roman Empire.
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