Roman diet secrets revealed
Archaeologists have been discovering how Romans lived 2000 years ago, by studying what they left behind in their sewers. A team of experts has found out details about their diet and their illnesses.
This unconventional journey into the past took the team down into an ancient sewer below the town of Herculaneum. Along with neighbouring Pompeii, it was one of the settlements buried by the Vesuvius volcanic explosion of 79AD.
In a tunnel 86 metres long, they unearthed what's believed to be the largest deposit of human excrement ever found in the Roman world. The scientists have been able to study what foods people ate and what jobs they did, by matching the material to the buildings above, like shops and homes.
This unprecedented insight in to the diet and health of ancient Romans showed that they ate a lot of vegetables. One sample also contained a high white blood cell count, indicating, say researchers, the presence of a bacterial infection. The sewer also offered up items of pottery, a lamp and even a gold ring with a decorative gemstone. But it's the human remains that have most astonished the archaeologists, all going to prove that where there's muck, there's memory.
Duncan Kennedy, BBC News, Italy
una cloaca / alcantarilla
asentamientos / poblados
hacer una relación entre una cosa y otra
a high white blood cell count
un alto conteo de glóbulos blancos
a bacterial infection
una infección bacteriana
mugre / estiércol