Romans killed unwanted babies born at brothel
Published on June 25th, 2010 | by Admin2
The only explanation you keep coming back to is that it’s got to be a brothel,” Dr Jill Eyers, of Chiltern Archaeology, told the BBC.
Experts say that the number of children killed at Yewden villa in Hambleden is unusually large.
“There is no other site that would yield anything like the 97 infant burials,” said Dr Simon Mays, a skeletal biologist at English Heritage’s Centre for
Archaeology, who has been investigating the finds.
The babies were all found to be of roughly the same size, suggesting systematic infanticide at birth rather than death from natural causes, which would have struck infants at different ages, Dr Mays added.
The Hambleden site, close to the River Thames, was excavated 100 years ago and identified as a high status Roman villa.
Alfred Heneage Cocks, an archaeologist, reported the findings in 1921. His report, along with photographs, and hundreds of artefacts, pottery and bones were recently rediscovered at Buckinghamshire County Museum.
The records gave precise locations for the infant bodies, which were hidden under walls or buried under courtyards close to each other.
The remains are now being tested for the first time by English Heritage.
The team plans to carry out DNA tests on the skeletons in a bid to establish their sex and possible relationship to each other.