What were two Chinese doing in Roman London?

by fulltimestudent 8 Replies latest jw friends

  • fulltimestudent

    In the ancient world, people moved around much more than we may have expected, (think of Paul's reported journeys and those of his supporters), but the identification of two skeletons in a Roman era burial ground, as Chinese has surprised historians.

    The UK BBC reports:

    Dr Rebecca Redfern, curator of human osteology at the Museum of London, told BBC Radio 4's The World at One, the find was "the first time in Roman Britain we've identified people with Asian ancestry" and it was "absolutely phenomenal".


  • Cold Steel
    Cold Steel

    Doesn't even make me blink. People got around so much more than we think they did. It's amazing how many ancients knew about the Western Hemisphere. The Chinese traded with those who traded with Rome and much of the frankincense used in the Jewish temple came from the East. That Chinese explorers ended up in Britain isn't as crazy as it may first appear. They may well have thought that "home" was beyond the Straits of Heracles and across the ocean, who knows? I'd love to read their stories, but they most likely reached Jerusalem through the Frankincense Trail and continued on to either Greece or Rome, then on to Britain with the legions. It could have taken them years.

  • Dunedain

    Maybe they were delivering the Romans a lunch special, of Wonton soup, and egg rolls. I betcha they got there really quick, too. Man, they have the best food, sometimes. and they will deliver anywhere.

  • Mephis

    I'd be sceptical on them actually being Chinese just for the moment. The very fragmented bones 'look' Chinese, and they definitely are not from Britain. And that's it. There could be a number of explanations before we get to China sadly. Hopefully they're able to recover something more substantial from the bones (ie DNA) to give weight to the suggestion they're making. It's certainly not impossible (lots of evidence for trade contact albeit via Iran, and hints at embassies between China and the Roman Empire) but the evidence for this is being pushed way beyond the caveats in the peer reviewed paper.

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    Yes Mephis trade may well have been a reason if indeed ancient Chinese skeletal material has been found in England. The highly valued silk thread or cloth from China was clearly known to the ancient Egyptians and also to the Classical world because we have samples of it today in museum exhibits. It was often blended in with linen thread.

  • cyberjesus

    They are fake.... that's why they think they are chinese

  • kepler

    I'll keep an eye out for the details, but this matter reminds me of claims about the ancient world prior to the 13th century BC. When it came to alloy production of bronze, there was need for sources of alloying metals copper and tin. Copper was in plentiful enough supply around the Mediterranean basin. So no big problem for Egyptians and peoples along the eastern shores such as in Asia minor or Canaan.

    Just one of the interesting background observations of E. H. Cline's book, 1177 BC, the Year that Civilization Collapsed.

  • BluesBrother

    It kind of puts an end to the WT claim that the "Good News" was preached throughout all the then known world, i e The Mediterranean area in Paul's day.......

  • fulltimestudent

    Hey, BluesBrother, that's an excellent observation:

    "It kind of puts an end to the WT claim that the "Good News" was preached throughout all the then known world, i e The Mediterranean area in Paul's day..."

    The Romans and the Han Empire, definitely knew of each other's existence. The JW claim is of course typical of ideas formed by relatively uneducated people. And, of course, (as an aside) YHWH if he exists, must know all of the humans on the earth. So why???? inspire Paul to write to the Colossian Christians:

    "This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant." (Colossians 1:23 NIV)

    Plainly it was a lie!


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