Diet, hygiene and health in Roman period northern Gaul: A multidisciplinary study of a latrine from an artisan household in the vicus Orolaunum (Arlon, southern Belgium, c. 250–280 CE) - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles (Data Paper) Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports Year : 2021

Diet, hygiene and health in Roman period northern Gaul: A multidisciplinary study of a latrine from an artisan household in the vicus Orolaunum (Arlon, southern Belgium, c. 250–280 CE)

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Abstract

Botanical (macro remains and pollen) and animal remains, including intestinal parasites, from a latrine dated between c. 250 CE and 280 CE from the artisan quarter of the vicus Orolaunum (Arlon) have been studied. The results provide information on the diet and health of a non-elite and poorly understood part of the population in northern Gaul. The identified plant remains document a diet which include several Roman introductions to the region, but hardly any truly exotic imports. Also the remains of fish sauce have been identified, but this was a locally produced variety and possibly a cheaper version of the typical Mediterranean product. The results indicate that the diet of the household using the latrine was strongly influenced by romanisation and that the lack of exotic imports was most likely the result of a low economic status rather than a lack of interest for these products. The people using the latrine were also infected with both roundworm and whipworm, two intestinal parasites that were probably common in the population of northern Roman Gaul and which are spread when sanitation is ineffective.
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Dates and versions

hal-03915536 , version 1 (29-12-2022)

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  • HAL Id : hal-03915536 , version 1

Cite

Koen Deforce, Marissa L. Ledger, Marie Derreumaux, Quentin Goffette, Denis Henrotay, et al.. Diet, hygiene and health in Roman period northern Gaul: A multidisciplinary study of a latrine from an artisan household in the vicus Orolaunum (Arlon, southern Belgium, c. 250–280 CE). Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 2021, 35. ⟨hal-03915536⟩

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