Home Interior Design In a first, archaeologists in the UK have used 3D scans to study a mysterious Roman burial practice

In a first, archaeologists in the UK have used 3D scans to study a mysterious Roman burial practice

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For the first time, archaeologists from York University in England have used 3D scanning to study a little-known burial practice from the ancient Romans, revealing details of the burial of a family of three who died together in England.

“3D images allow us to witness a harrowing family tragedy nearly 2,000 years after it occurred, reminding us not only of the fragility of life in antiquity, but also of the care invested in burial. of this group of people,” said Maureen Carroll, chair of Roman archeology at the University of York, in a press release.

The scans reveal fine details such as the ties used to secure the shroud over the head of one of the adults and the strips of fabric used to wrap the child.

The Romans sometimes poured liquid gypsum over the dressed bodies of the dead in their coffins before burying them. As the gypsum hardened and the bodies decayed, this practice preserved the position and outlines of the dead, as well as the imprint of shrouds and other garments.

Courtesy of Heritage360.

It is thought to have been a practice reserved for wealthy people, as expensive aromatic resins have been found in other gypsum burials, also in York, which has produced some 45 such burials since the 19th century . They have also been discovered in Europe and North Africa.

The Yorkshire Museum, which has a large collection of 16 of these funerary casts, undertook the study with the University of York, the York Museums Trust and Heritage360, a university-based research center and technical service provider .

“The outlines of the three individuals in the gypsum can be seen with the naked eye, but it is difficult to distinguish the relationship between the bodies and to recognize how they were dressed or wrapped,” Carroll said. “The resulting 3D model clarifies these ambiguities in amazing ways.”

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