Sorry! That was an attention-grabbing TT.
However it is also true, that the dead are now telling us things. Scientific advances allow us to interrogate the human remains that we find.
Here's an example, from two ancient Roman cemeteries the skeletons have been examined and something of the history of those individuals is now known. The research conducted is explained in an academic journal, PLOS ONE.
The techniques used enable us to know much more about what was happening in ancient times (even in pre-historical times), providing background to the more well-known events. The remains in these two cemeteries tell us that people were moving around as a result of political changes. Early Judaism and Christianity rode that tide of human movement.
The link to the full report is at:
All Roads Lead to Rome: Exploring Human Migration to the Eternal City through Biochemistry of Skeletons from Two Imperial-Era Cemeteries (1st-3rd c AD)
- Published: February 10, 2016 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147585
- Migration within the Roman Empire occurred at multiple scales and was engaged in both voluntarily and involuntarily. Because of the lengthy tradition of classical studies, bioarchaeological analyses must be fully contextualized within the bounds of history, material culture, and epigraphy. In order to assess migration to Rome within an updated contextual framework, strontium isotope analysis was performed on 105 individuals from two cemeteries associated with Imperial Rome—Casal Bertone and Castellaccio Europarco—and oxygen and carbon isotope analyses were performed on a subset of 55 individuals. Statistical analysis and comparisons with expected local ranges found several outliers who likely immigrated to Rome from elsewhere. Demographics of the immigrants show men and children migrated, and a comparison of carbon isotopes from teeth and bone samples suggests the immigrants may have significantly changed their diet. These data represent the first physical evidence of individual migrants to Imperial Rome. This case study demonstrates the importance of employing bioarchaeology to generate a deeper understanding of a complex ancient urban center.