Researchers sequence the genome of an ancient inhabitant of Pompeii

In 1933, archaeologists excavating the remains of the ancient city of Pompeii found the bodies of two people whose skeletons were almost perfectly preserved in volcanic ash that buried their homes after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius on August 24, 79 AD. While many residents of Pompeii fled the natural disaster, these two did not.

Ancient Excavation News

In a photo from the early 30’s (shown above) you can see “Craftsman’s House“They collapsed in the corner of their dining room, almost as if they were having lunch, and their lives were coming to an end. It’s a poignant scene that archaeologists have been trying to unravel for so long, and now we’re not sure about the two A better understanding of what might have happened to individual Romans, thanks to recent advances in DNA sequencing technology.

In a paper published this week Magazine Scientific ReportsA joint team of researchers from Italy, Denmark and the United States has reportedly shared that they recently sequenced the genome of a resident of the House of Craftsmen — marking the first time archaeologists have decoded the mitochondrial DNA of a Pompeii resident. New York Times.

Genetic material extracted from him stonyA dense pyramid-shaped bone that protects the inner ear, the research team found that the male resident of the house suffered from spinal tuberculosis, or as it is better known today Potter’s disease. Associated symptoms include back pain and lower extremity paralysis. “This situation would force him to move,” Dr Pier Francesco Fabbri, one of the anthropologists who contributed to the paper, told era. It is likely that this man, who was about 35 years old when he died, would have had a hard time escaping Pompeii, even if he wanted to escape the burning city.

We also now have a better understanding of the man’s origins. The team compared his DNA to 1,030 ancient and 471 present-day West Eurasians and concluded that some of his ancestors came from Anatolia, a region now largely part of modern-day Turkey. He also has ties to Sardinia. However, he is most genetically similar to the people who lived in and around Rome during the destruction of Pompeii. This proves that the Italian peninsula was a melting pot of ethnic diversity at the height of the Roman Empire.

Since then, our knowledge of the ancient world will always be imperfect, but thanks to advances in technology, we keep learning more about life thousands of years ago.It wasn’t until late last year that researchers “unraveled” the most original mummy once found with the help of a CT scan. Professor Gabriel Scolano, lead researcher of the Pompeii study, told BBC Future genetic studies could reveal more about the city, including about the biodiversity of the surrounding area. “Pompeii is like a Roman island,” he said. “We have a photo of a day in AD 79.”

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you purchase through one of these links, we may receive an affiliate commission.

Source link