Monday, September 10, 2012

Murder of British child 1,800 years ago gets investigated

The skelatal remains of a child who was possibly ‘murdered’ at one of Hadrian’s Wall 1,800 years ago

A child who was ‘murdered’ at one of Britain’s most important Roman sites 1,800 years ago is under a CSI-style forensic investigation.

So far experts have discovered the child, who was found near Hadrian’s Wall, was originally brought up in the Mediterranean before being brought over to the UK.

The child - sex unconfirmed - is believed to have been a child slave, who was killed with his or her hands tied together.

Alternatively, due to the location of the body, the child may have been the son or daughter of a soldier serving on Hadrian’s Wall - giving more weight to the theory that soldiers brought their families with them to the wilds of Northumberland.

The skeleton was found two years ago in a shallow pit in the corner of a barrack room floor at Vindolanda Roman fort.

As human burials in built-up areas were forbidden in Roman times - the dead had to be buried or cremated away from settlements - experts believed the child’s body had been concealed.

And from the way it was found, the victim could have had his or her hands tied.

The pit at the barracks dated back to the middle of the 3rd century when the Fourth Cohort of Gauls formed the garrison.

It has not been possible to determine whether the body was male or female, but Dr Trudi Buck, a Durham University biological anthropologist, has judged it to be aged about 10.

Via Murder of British child 1,800 years ago gets investigated | Mail Online