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Thread: Mysterious skull could be of Pliny the Elder

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    Mysterious skull could be of Pliny the Elder




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    I hope we find out more than the sex, age, and where he grew up.

    Too bad there's only the skull cap. It would have been fascinating to see what the reconstruction would have looked like.


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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Update courtesy of Iosif Lazardis...

    I was a bit skeptical of these claims, but the way the story is fleshed out in this article it seems there might be something to it. Is there a hint of an R1b yDna for the skull? I guess we have to stay tuned.

    https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/...cate-1.8439072

    "Pliny the Younger’s account of the events of those days is considered very accurate, so much so that scientists have dubbed the type of explosive volcanic eruption he described a “Plinian eruption.”In a letter to the Roman historian Tacitus, the younger Pliny recounts that his uncle ordered his fleet to set sail for the Vesuvius area, both to investigate the phenomenon and to help “the many people who lived on that beautiful coast."

    "According to Pliny the Younger, the fleet and its commander disembarked at Stabiae, a town on the shore near Pompeii. But as he was leading a group of survivors to safety, Pliny the Elder was overtaken by a cloud of poisonous gas, and suffocated to death on the beach at age 56.

    Bodies are found
    In the first years of the 20th century, amid a flurry of digs to uncover Pompeii and other sites preserved by the layers of volcanic ash that covered them, an engineer called Gennaro Matrone uncovered around 70 skeletons near the coast at Stabiae.
    One of the bodies bore a golden triple necklace chain, golden bracelets and a short sword decorated with ivory and seashells."

    "Then, another anthropologist suggested that the jawbone and the skull may have belonged to two different people. DNA tests confirmed this hypothesis: the jawbone came from a man whose ancestry could be traced to North Africa. But the skull’s haplogroup was typical of Italic populations in the Roman period, which would still make it possible to identify it as Pliny’s.

    So, it seems that in the jumble of skeletons found on the beach in Stabiae, the archaeologists mistakenly associated the skull and jawbone of two different people."

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Update courtesy of Iosif Lazardis...

    I was a bit skeptical of these claims, but the way the story is fleshed out in this article it seems there might be something to it. Is there a hint of an R1b yDna for the skull? I guess we have to stay tuned.

    https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/...cate-1.8439072

    "Pliny the Younger’s account of the events of those days is considered very accurate, so much so that scientists have dubbed the type of explosive volcanic eruption he described a “Plinian eruption.”In a letter to the Roman historian Tacitus, the younger Pliny recounts that his uncle ordered his fleet to set sail for the Vesuvius area, both to investigate the phenomenon and to help “the many people who lived on that beautiful coast."

    "According to Pliny the Younger, the fleet and its commander disembarked at Stabiae, a town on the shore near Pompeii. But as he was leading a group of survivors to safety, Pliny the Elder was overtaken by a cloud of poisonous gas, and suffocated to death on the beach at age 56.

    Bodies are found
    In the first years of the 20th century, amid a flurry of digs to uncover Pompeii and other sites preserved by the layers of volcanic ash that covered them, an engineer called Gennaro Matrone uncovered around 70 skeletons near the coast at Stabiae.
    One of the bodies bore a golden triple necklace chain, golden bracelets and a short sword decorated with ivory and seashells."

    "Then, another anthropologist suggested that the jawbone and the skull may have belonged to two different people. DNA tests confirmed this hypothesis: the jawbone came from a man whose ancestry could be traced to North Africa. But the skull’s haplogroup was typical of Italic populations in the Roman period, which would still make it possible to identify it as Pliny’s.

    So, it seems that in the jumble of skeletons found on the beach in Stabiae, the archaeologists mistakenly associated the skull and jawbone of two different people."
    I was informed they used mtDNA to distinguish skull and jaw as belonging to different individuals, and that nuclear DNA would not have been tested yet by the Lab in Florence. So they would have found that the mtDNA from the skull is compatible with an "Italian", whereas the one from the jaw is compatible with a "North African". I don't know what these haplogroups are; but, importantly, they showed the skull and jaw belonged to different individuals.

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