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Skeleton find could rewrite Roman history

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posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 08:38 PM
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Skeleton find could rewrite Roman history
(bbc.co.uk)


Two skeletons have been discovered in a London graveyard which could change our view of the history of Europe and Asia.

Analysis of the bones, found in a Roman burial place in Southwark, discovered that they dated to between the 2nd and 4th Century AD and were probably ethnically Chinese.

Dr Rebecca Redfern, curator of human osteology at the Museum of London, told BBC Radio 4's The World at One the find was "the first time in Roman Britain we've identified people with Asian ancestry" and it was "absolutely phenomenal".


It's based on a paper called "Identifying migrants in Roman London using lead and strontium stable isotopes," direct source here but behind a paywall.

Other sources:

Mysterious Chinese skeletons in ancient London cemetery shed new light on Roman Empire

Sino-Roman connections aren't unheard of, but according to this claim this would be the earliest evidence of Chinese in Roman London.




posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 08:50 PM
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a reply to: Blackmarketeer

Very cool, by far believable, pity its taken so long



posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 09:11 PM
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a reply to: Blackmarketeer

I remember there was a movie called Legion starring Michael Fassbender where they feature an Indian man in the Roman Army.



posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 09:20 PM
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Why can't these just be white people with really Chinese facial features?



posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 10:40 PM
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Probably a Mongol enlisted in the Roman Legion.

Or . . . it's the real King Arthur!



posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 11:04 PM
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An amazing find! Smashes many aspects of conventional archeological history! Supports Chinese exploratory theories! Hoorah!


Although... be still my heart... I did find this particular comment below the article to be quite relevant:

"A Forensic Anthropologist would have a hard time distinguishing Mongol, Uzbek, Kazakh, Tatar, Uighur, Hazara (Afghan Turkic) and Chinese. It is known the Romans reached Afghanistan and Central Asia; those sources would be more likely than China, which did not have known exchange with the Romans."
edit on 23-9-2016 by antoinemarionette because: added comment



posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 11:23 PM
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Barely topical question: were Rome to clash with China...how would that have gone?

More topical: the trade was obviously established long before this. I suspect the Silk Road dates back as far as prehominid. Most of our roads began as wild animal migration routes. The Silk Road is kind of a natural choice for animal migrations.



posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 11:37 PM
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originally posted by: RedDragon
Why can't these just be white people with really Chinese facial features?


I really hope this is sarcastic...



posted on Sep, 23 2016 @ 11:53 PM
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originally posted by: RedDragon
Why can't these just be white people with really Chinese facial features?


They're looking at skulls, so they can't see if the eyelids had folds or if the skin color was "Chinese."

There are forensic differences in the skulls, however. A Chinese skull will be similar to the Native American. You can see how it's determined at this blog, which is a pretty easy to understand explanation

and here (Chinese type is called "Mongoloid" after the Mongol tribes)

Wikipedia on Forensic facial reconstruction (in case you needed something else to read)



posted on Sep, 24 2016 @ 12:04 AM
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originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
Barely topical question: were Rome to clash with China...how would that have gone?.


Rome was coming apart. They had an emperor in the East and one in the West for some time before Constantine managed through wars to unite the East and the West around 324 or so. He began rebuilding Constantinople and other cities shortly thereafter, but although his rule is one of stability, after his death Rome fragments again.

Persia is fighting invasions from Arabia and the rest of Mesopotamia and the Visigoths are being pushed toward Rome by the Huns.

China in this period is undergoing the Period of Disunity (that's the official name) with multiple people vying to establish dynasties (and sometimes succeeding. The country gets fragmented by warlords.

Short answer: Neither had the resources to take much of a fight to the other and both were in danger from the Huns.



posted on Sep, 24 2016 @ 01:11 AM
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originally posted by: AgarthaSeed

originally posted by: RedDragon
Why can't these just be white people with really Chinese facial features?


I really hope this is sarcastic...
maybe he thinks they were dug up from a peat bog. (sarc)



posted on Sep, 24 2016 @ 04:29 AM
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Nice find, but then again if there were Indians in Rome and Chinese and other north east Asian looking ppl in India, I saw no problem with some adventurous souls packing a bag board a ship and head west to the eternal city or simply walked the silk road, then on to one of the provinces, it is not beyond reason that some may want to find the terminus or the origins of their trade goods.
edit on 24-9-2016 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 24 2016 @ 01:39 PM
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a reply to: Blackmarketeer

Nice Post Blackmarketeer,

Dont forget people, by the mid first century there were already enough chinese trading with rome, that Rome's port city had a "Chinatown", though it seems fantastic, it should be no suprise to find people from far off lands in the Empire. That would have been quit the trip to end up Roman Britain, from somewhere in china.

The study is using isotope ratios, probably from tooth enamel, to pin down a location of birth and where the person spent most of thier life.
The if they have a skull its pretty easy to tell if they are East Asian, its all in the , East asians will have the traits of sinodonty, shoveled inscisors, different number of roots and different shapes to the teeth than what you would find in a european. There are other skeletal differences that would show if tghey were east asian, proportions of limb lengths profile, and shape of the upper pallet will also tell.



posted on Sep, 25 2016 @ 02:10 AM
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probably ethnically Chinese


I think you're all missing the word "probably" in that sentence.
The reason they said probably is because determining race from skeletal remains isn't an exact science. What you could say with more certainty is "Asian". The words "likely" or "consistent with" are usually to be found in these sort of declarations. You could never say "Chinese" because Chinese isn't a stand alone racial type.



posted on Sep, 25 2016 @ 02:55 AM
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originally posted by: Marduk
I think you're all missing the word "probably" in that sentence.
The reason they said probably is because determining race from skeletal remains isn't an exact science. What you could say with more certainty is "Asian". The words "likely" or "consistent with" are usually to be found in these sort of declarations. You could never say "Chinese" because Chinese isn't a stand alone racial type.



originally posted by: Blackmarketeer
Skeleton find could rewrite Roman history
(bbc.co.uk)



Analysis of the bones, found in a Roman burial place in Southwark, discovered that they dated to between the 2nd and 4th Century AD and were probably ethnically Chinese.




It's based on a paper called "Identifying migrants in Roman London using lead and strontium stable isotopes," direct source here but behind a paywall.


If I recall correctly, doesn't isotope analysis identify where someone was born and raised based on a chronology gained from the distribution of exposure to known and quantified isotope levels (or something like that)? If so, the skeleton could be "ethnically" Roman, but born in Asia, for example. Isotope analysis, as far as I understood it, identifies movements and locations of origin, but doesn't tell us about ethnicity at all, that would be, I assume, derived from the material culture?

That said, I don't think that it quite rewrites history, rather it confirms the accepted opinion that the movement of goods, as well as people, extended from Britain to China. Evidence of chinese silks have been found in Colchester (at least) dating from the Roman occupation, that the odd person chose, or was in turn sent in trade, along the same route doesn't seem particularly ground breaking. And if we look at the spread of diseases in the 2nd century, along that route, particular the possible spread of small pox, both East and West out of Damascus, we already had a good inkling of that.

Still fascinating, I just question the need to dub everything a "rewrite".
edit on 25-9-2016 by Anaana because: grrr



posted on Sep, 25 2016 @ 02:02 PM
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They were running a takeaway, that’s what they were doing.



posted on Sep, 25 2016 @ 04:02 PM
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originally posted by: RedDragon
Why can't these just be white people with really Chinese facial features?





DNA?
Some people say that the Chinese traded with south America in the 'BC's', the Chinese had 3,000 ton trading ships, plus the Chinese could follow the silk route to Rome, Alexander the great got as far as India, next door to China, people travel, just as they do to-day.




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