Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ancient laborer burial ground excavated near Rome
First-century burial grounds near Rome's main airport are yielding a rare look into how ancient longshoremen and other manual workers did backbreaking jobs, archaeologists said Monday.

The necropolis near the town of Ponte Galeria came to light last year when customs police noticed a clandestine dig by grave robbers seeking valuable ancient artifacts, Rome's archaeology office said.

Most of the 300 skeletons unearthed were male, and many of them showed signs of years of heavy work: joint and tendon inflammation, compressed vertebrae, hernias and spinal problems, archaeologists said. Sandy sediment helped preserve the remains well.

Be interesting to see how they compare to the workers' burials at Giza.