(ORDO NEWS) — Scientists from the University of Valencia, the University of Catalonia and the Archaeological Institute of Tarragona found that the remains of meat sacrificed by the ancient Romans mostly belonged to the least valuable animals.
The remains of people were discovered in a necropolis on the territory of modern Barcelona a few years ago. It operated in the 2nd-3rd centuries AD.
Near the graves of people, scientists found the remains of animals – most likely sacrificed. The authors conducted an isotope analysis of human and animal bones.
It turned out that basically the same animals that people ate during their lifetime were sacrificed at the funeral. There were differences in nutrition depending on gender, age and social status.
In addition, the ancient Romans kept the best pieces of meat for themselves, while the gods got mostly bones.
Animals were chosen already old, which were not good for anything other than sacrifice – it was unprofitable to kill young animals, so the Romans saved.
Seafood buried in the Necropolis was rarely or never eaten: isotope analysis showed that they mainly fed on land animals. Meat was eaten regularly, although plants remained the main food source.
An unexpected find was the remains of a fox. Wild animals were rarely sacrificed. They probably had some symbolic meaning. Most often, pigs, cows and goats were sacrificed.
Chickens were also among the victims – they were considered associated with the god Attis.
Chicken meat was considered more expensive and rarer than pork or beef, so it was rarely eaten, but still found an opportunity to share it with the gods.
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