HEROICA: Health and Diet in the Roman Iberia – a Case-study in Archaeometry

Duration: 2012 ‐ 2015

Abstract: The aim of this study is to conduct a synchronic and diachronic investigation of the ancient diet, health status and mobility of the inhabitants of Pax Iulia Colony (urban centre) and territory (rural area) during seven centuries of Roman occupation. Information will be gathered from the study of organic residues recovered from pottery sherds and paleodemographic, paleopathological and isotopic analysis of human remains from urban (pre-roman and roman levels of Pax Iulia and Mirtylis) and rural (pre-roman settlement of Cerro Furado and roman villae of S. Cucufate and Monte da Cegonha) settlements. Considering the socio-cultural environment in Pax Iulia civita and lack of epigraphy or written data indicating population movements or conflict, it is important to understand how Romanization influenced diet and overall health status of local and non-local populations. Alteration of agricultural land occupation and food production techniques introduced by the Romans likely introduced changes in the local habits that urge investigate. Scarce epigraphy data has been used to establish the supposedly cosmopolitan character of Myrtillis and Pax Iulia, but new data are strongly needed to identify the mobility within the Pax Iulia civitas.

Coordinator: Cristina Maria Barrocas Dias Teixeira da Costa, Universidade de Évora

Participants: Cláudia Umbelino, Teresa Fernandes

Partner institutions: Universidade de Évora, Direcção Regional de Cultura do Alentejo (DRCALEN), Fundação da Faculdade de Ciências (FFC/FC/UL), Fundação da Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (FFCT/FCT/UNL).

Financial support: Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, PTDC/HIS ‐ ARQ/120236/2010