KRISTINA KILLGROVE, then a student at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, received a grant in April 2008 to aid research on 'Transnational Immigrants and Polyethnic Communities in Imperial Rome (2nd-3rd Century AD),' supervised by Dr. Dale Hutchinson. Dental enamel from the first molar of 112 Roman skeletons from the Imperial period (2nd-3rd AD) was analyzed using stable strontium isotope analysis to investigate patterns of immigration among the lower classes of Rome. Seven of the individuals yielded Sr isotope ratios different from Rome, indicating they moved after the age of three; four were middle-aged males, and three were adolescents. Most of these immigrants likely moved from areas just to the north and south of Rome. At least one individual, a middle-aged male, was a long-distance migrant, and his Sr isotope ratio is consistent with the geology of present-day Germany. Oxygen isotope analysis of 60 individuals provided additional evidence of immigrants to Rome. Preliminary interpretation of the O results indicates that at least five individuals, all between the ages of 8 and 20, are significantly different than the local Roman population. One possibility for their homeland, based on the isotopes and ancient trade routes in the Empire, is northern Africa. This large pilot study combining Sr- and O-isotope information has shown that significant long- and short-distance immigration to Rome among the urban poor existed during the Empire and that men and children were most likely to immigrate.
Dissertation Fieldwork Grant
North Carolina, Chapel Hill, U. of
Killgrove, Kristina, U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - To aid research on 'Transnational Immigrants and Polyethnic Communities in Imperial Rome (2nd-3rd Century AD),' supervised by Dr. Dale Lee Hutchinson