Wednesday, July 10, 2019

When the Vandals Invaded

From Ancient Origins:
The diets and geographic origins of people living in Portus, the main maritime port of Imperial Rome, have been determined through analysis of human, plant and animal remains, revealing that after the Vandals sacked Rome in AD 455 a quick change in food resources caused widespread nutritional depletion. 
Portus was a vast artificial harbor established by Roman Emperor Claudius in the first century AD and it’s estimated to measure a whopping 3.5km sq. This ancient center of Roman trade and commerce is situated on the north mouth of the Tiber, on the Tyrrhenian coast and served as Rome’s chief gateway to the Mediterranean. 
For 500 years the docks at Portus received incalculable tonnages of imported wild animals, rare foods and drinks, exotic building materials and luxury goods, sustaining the grandeur and glory of Roman presence in the Mediterranean and keeping the masses in work. However, for all the millions of people who were born, raised, worked and died in Portus, virtually nothing is known of who they were and where they came from - until now that is. 
A new study published today in Antiquity by an international team of researchers, co-authored by Dr Tamsin O’Connell of the Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge, presents their analysis of “plant, animal and human remains” and a reconstruction of “both the diets and geographic origins of the Portus inhabitants.” (Read more.)

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