History : May-Jun 2016
4 MAY/JUNE 2016 NEWS belonged to people who came from all over Europe. At least one may have come to this chilly northern outpost from as far away as modern-day Saudi Arabia. When archaeologists un- earthed 80 bodies in the northern English city of York Documents have long shown how Romans were forever on the move across their sprawling empire 1,800 years ago. Now historians have scientific proof too: Studies carried out on headless skel- etons in England reveal they Genetic Secrets of the Headless Roman Skeletons The remains of 80 soldiers—many of which were inexplicably decapitated— have revealed new clues about immigration during the Roman Empire. MIGRATION IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE in 2004 and 2005, they were hardly surprised by the pres- ence of human remains: The site lay on a burial ground of the Roman settlement of Eb- oracum. What did surprise them was that nearly half of the bodies’ heads had been cut off. Many of the bodies FOR REASONS that are unclear, nearly half of the individuals had been beheaded, as the cut across the top of this neck vertebra shows (above). All the bodies found were males under 45, taller than average, and muscular—a profile suggesting they were gladiators or soldiers. PHOTOS: YORK ARCHAEOLOGICAL TRUST YORKOSTEOARCHAEOLOGYLTD.