Scientists have found out how men and women of ancient Rome ate
Scientists have analyzed the skeletons of people who died in the eruption of Vesuvius.
The Roman Republic and the Roman Empire left behind a lot of historical monuments. Scientists have been researching them for years. But often even numerous finds cannot answer a simple question: what was the difference between the diet of a Roman man and a Roman woman? It turned out that the catastrophe that befell Italy in 79 AD can help solve this riddle, Chronicle.info betrays with reference to Channel 24.
At a time when archaeological sites cannot answer the question, a volcano and biomolecular archeology intervene. In 79 AD, Vesuvius began to erupt. The volcano has ruined many lives, but has given modern people a unique opportunity to explore the Roman era using the cities preserved in the ashes. The most popular such city is Pompeii. But there were other cities, for example, Herculaneum.
Differentiation of the diet of Roman men and women
Scientists examined the amino acids of 17 skeletons of Roman citizens who died in 79 in Herculaneum. The eruption of Vesuvius and the death of people at the same time gave scientists a unique opportunity to study a large number of people who lived at the same time and had approximately the same social status.
The remains of those killed in Herculaneum in 79 AD offer a unique opportunity to explore the way of life of members of the ancient community who lived and died together. Historical sources often cite differential access to food in Roman society, but rarely provide direct and quantitative information, says study author, biomolecular archeologist Professor Oliver Craig.
Measuring carbon isotopes and nitrogen in amino acids of bones, researchers were able to reconstruct the diet of people.
It turned out that men consumed 50% more fish and other seafood and received more protein from them than women. Also, men got more protein by consuming cereals.
Women preferred meat more and got more protein from it than men. Herculaneum women consumed more local fruits and vegetables than men.
This difference in diet may be explained by the fact that men were more involved in fishing. Therefore, they had constant access to fresh fish and seafood.