Follower emmajanefalconer dropped this link in my inbox this morning, and I thought I’d share it.
This is something I talk about or make reference to here quite a bit. Just about every discipline has encountered proofs that Britain has been multiracial since Classical times. This article is from 2010, and you would think that it would have seeped into the collective consciousness by now, but no.
The resistance to facts seems to frustrate some academics:
Dr Hella Eckardt, Senior Lecturer at the University of Reading, said:
“Multi-cultural Britain is not just a phenomenon of more modern times. Analysis of the ‘Ivory Bangle Lady’ and others like her, contradicts common popular assumptions about the make up of Roman-British populations as well as the view that African immigrants in Roman Britain were of low status, male and likely to have been slaves.”
"To date, we have had to rely on evidence of such foreigners in Roman Britain from inscriptions. However, by analysing the facial features of the Ivory Bangle Lady and measuring her skull compared to reference populations, analysing the chemical signature of the food and drink she consumed, as well as evaluating the evidence from the burial site, we are now able to establish a clear profile of her ancestry and social status.
"It helps paint a picture of a Roman York that was hugely diverse and which included among its population, men, women and children of high status from Romanised North Africa and elsewhere in the Mediterranean."
The Ivory Bangle Lady was a high status young woman who was buried in Roman York (Sycamore Terrace). Dated to the second half of the fourth century, her grave contains jet and elephant ivory bracelets, earrings, pendants, beads, a blue glass jug and a glass mirror. The most famous object from this burial is a rectangular openwork mount of bone, possibly from an unrecorded wooden casket, which reads ‘Hail, sister, may you live in God’, indicating Christian beliefs.