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Gender Based Diet

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Researchers led by the University of York found that the bones of victims of the 79 CE eruption of Vesuvius in the nearby town of Herculaneum had differences in the diets of the local men and women.

According to an analysis of isotopes in the bones, men ate more cereals and seafood, and women ate more eggs, dairy, and meat from terrestrial animals. The reasons for these gender-based differences are unclear, but could be attributed to differences in occupations, cultural taboos, or power-based societal stratification.

The experts used a new approach to analyse amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, from 17 adult skeletons, 11 men and six women found in Herculaneum in the eruption’s aftermath. By measuring the isotopes of carbon and nitrogen in the amino acids, the researchers reconstructed their diets in more detail than ever thought possible.

‘Our research builds on what we know that males had greater access to marine fish at Herculaneum and more broadly in Roman Italy,’ said study author Silvia Soncin from York’s Department of Archaeology.

Males were more likely to be directly engaged in fishing and maritime activities, they generally occupied more privileged positions in society, and were freed from slavery at an earlier age providing greater access to expensive commodities, such as fresh fish.’

The cities of Pompeii, Oplontis, and Stabiae were under ashes and rock fragments, and the city of Herculaneum under a mudflow when Mount Vesuvius erupted in the year AD 79. Every single resident died instantly when the southern Italian town was hit by a 500°C pyroclastic hot surge.

An administrator and poet called Pliny the younger watched the disaster unfold from a distance. Letters describing what he saw were found in the 16th century.

Read also: https://careercore.in/unknown-human-lineage.html

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