(ORDO NEWS) — Experts from the University of York analyzed the remains of 17 people who died as a result of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The catastrophe happened back in 79 AD and caused the death of many people.
Scientists have measured the isotopes of carbon, as well as nitrogen, which are found in the amino acids of bones. Thus, they were able to learn more about the nutrition of the Romans in those years. Reported by EurekAlert !.
Oliver Craig said that the remains provided unique information. Historical sources have repeatedly found evidence that the ancient Romans had different access to food, but there was no specifics in these records.
Thanks to the analysis, the experts were able to find some differences in the proportions of sea food, as well as meat in women and men. Perhaps access to a particular food depended largely on gender.
In total, experts found the remains of 340 bodies near the rocks and beaches of Herculaneum. Men in this group received about 50% more protein from seafood when compared with women. Also, protein came from cereals. In turn, women ate more meat, fruits and vegetables.
Sylvia Sonchin noted that men had more access to fish than women, because they were actively engaged in fishing and, in general, spent a lot of time near the water. The experts also added that seafood played a very important role in the diet of the ancient inhabitants of Herculaneum, especially when compared with modern food preferences.
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