Going south of the river: A multidisciplinary analysis of ancestry, mobility and diet in a population from Roman Southwark, London
Publication date: October 2016
Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 74
Author(s): Rebecca C. Redfern, Darren R. Gröcke, Andrew R. Millard, Victoria Ridgeway, Lucie Johnson, Joseph T. Hefner
This study investigated the ancestry, childhood residency and diet of 22 individuals buried at an A.D. 2nd and 4th century cemetery at Lant Street, in the southern burial area of Roman London. The possible presence of migrants was investigated using macromorphoscopics to assess ancestry, carbon and nitrogen isotopes to study diet, and oxygen isotopes to examine migration. Diets were found to be primarily C3-based with limited input of aquatic resources, in contrast to some other populations in Roman Britain and proximity to the River Thames. The skeletal morphology showed the likely African ancestry of four individuals, and Asian ancestry of two individuals, with oxygen isotopes indicating a circum-Mediterranean origin for five individuals. Our data suggests that the population of the southern suburb had an ongoing connection with immigrants, especially those from the southern Mediterranean.