2010 Archeology News Recap: June

The advancements of technology have allowed scientists to pinpoint an array of details associated with great ancient finds. In this article, you will learn the cause of death of a 700-year-old mummy, as well as the discovery of a very old shoe.

The Santa Rosa Mummy

The mummified remains of a young woman who has been nicknamed the Santa Rosa Mummy is believed to have died from complications stemming from Cantrell’s syndrome. An examination of her body revealed that the mummy showed signs of defects associated with the diaphragm, abdominal wall, pericardium, heart, and lower sternum. The mummy is 700 years old and unearthed in Rome, where it continues to live in a nearby monastery.

The woman in question was most likely 18 or 19 years old when she died. An Italian research team believes that she was killed by a blood clot in the heart. A mobile device that allows X rays to be taken was used during the restoration process.

Historical records have pointed towards tuberculosis as her cause of death, but there was no proof that she had the infection. However, researchers did locate defects in the heart and surrounding tissues that indicated the rare condition known as Cantrell’s syndrome.

Burial Ground for Gladiators

The lives of gladiators have always fascinated the public with their strength and physical abilities. Archeologists in northern England have stumbled upon ancient skeletons found under the city of York that may have been a cemetery set aside for fallen Roman gladiators. The well-preserved discovery was initially found in 2003, where the first skeletons were uncovered. In the coming years, more than 80 of the remains have been identified.

The skeletons date back between the 2nd and 3rd centuries , during a time period where the Romans lived in northern England. The skeletons were decapitated, which prompted archeologists to believe that the bodies belonged to gladiators. Other clues emerged regarding the bodies. For instance, one arm is typically larger than the other. The rest of the bones are also noted as being heftier than the average man would have.

The men chosen to be gladiators were large for their time , measuring two inches bigger than average. They were also heavier and muscular. Some of the skeletons also showed signs of being hit over the head with a hammer before being decapitated. Usually, the gladiators were hit over the head where they were unconscious before losing their head.  Another sign that the skeletons were once gladiators was that some of the bones displayed large teeth marks from an animal, such as a lion or tiger.

Other archeology news from June 2010 includes:

The unearthing of a site in Keene, New Hampshire that dates back 12,000 years ago was announced in June.

Scientists at the Smithsonian Institution believe they have come across the skeletal remains of a man thought to have been Edward Salter , a retired member of the pirate crew belonging to the infamous Blackbeard.

The discovery of a well-preserved leather shoe was reportedly found in a pit in a cave in Armenia that dates back a few hundred years older than the leather shoes worn by Otzi the Iceman.