Saturday, March 16, 2013

Roman Meal

So much of our knowledge about the ancient world comes from the elites. That's finally changing due to archaeology and forensic analysis:
Ancient Romans are known for eating well, with mosaics from the empire portraying sumptuous displays of fruits, vegetables, cakes — and, of course, wine. But the 98 percent of Romans who were non-elite and whose feasts weren't preserved in art may have been stuck eating birdseed.

Common people in ancient Rome ate millet, a grain looked down upon by the wealthy as fit only for livestock, according to a new study published in the March issue of the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. And consumption of millet may have been linked to overall social status, with relatively poorer suburbanites eating more of the grain than did wealthier city dwellers.

The results come from an analysis of anonymous skeletons in the ancient city's cemeteries.
Most Ancient Romans Ate Like Animals (Live Science). Once again, the benefits of empire and expansion go to those at the top, with the majority worse off. Maybe this version of history will finally begin to sink in.

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