View Full Version : Lead in ancient Rome’s city waters

07-05-14, 03:52
Did Roman civilization collapsed as a result of lead poisoning?

This work (http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/04/16/1400097111.abstract?sid=d676ecce-e3cc-49bc-9f62-ae1816a61169) measures Pb(plumbum) isotope compositions of sediments from the Tiber River and the Trajanic Harbor, and shows that “tap water” from ancient Rome had 100 times more lead than local spring waters.

07-05-14, 05:12
Is this 100 time exceeding health standards? If local spring water contains almost no lead, the 100 times this amount might not be much either.
Having said that lead pipes are not best for drinking water.

07-05-14, 08:19
Romans did have lead poisoning, it has been found in their skelletons
they liked to heat up some cheap wine with some lead to give it a 'nice taste'