Article

International Journal of Anthropology

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 9-15

Lead exposure in italy: 800 BC-700 AD

  • A. C. AufderheideAffiliated withPaleobiology and Archaeometry Laboratories, University of Minnesota-Duluth
  • , G. RappJr.Affiliated withPaleobiology and Archaeometry Laboratories, University of Minnesota-Duluth
  • , L. E. WittmersJr.Affiliated withPaleobiology and Archaeometry Laboratories, University of Minnesota-Duluth
  • , J. E. WallgrenAffiliated withPaleobiology and Archaeometry Laboratories, University of Minnesota-Duluth
  • , R. MacchiarelliAffiliated withSection of Anthropology, National Museum of Prehistory-Ethnology “L. Pigorini”
  • , G. FornaciariAffiliated withInstitute of Pathological Anatomy and Histology, Paleopathology Laboratory, Medical School, University of Pisa
  • , F. MallegniAffiliated withDepartment of Archaeological Sciences, University of Pisa
  • , R. S. CorrucciniAffiliated withDepartment of Anthropology, University of Southern Illinois at Carbondale

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Abstract

Certain social and industrial activities that were common among Imperial Age Romans have been suggested to have caused lead poisoning whose sociological consequences may have afflicted many members of the aristocratic social stratum. Evaluation of this suggestion has awaited quantitative data. This study reports the skeletal lead content of twenty Italian archaeological populations. Imperial Age populations demonstrated up to ten-fold more bone lead than their predecessors or successors.

Key words

Lead bone skeletal Italy archaeological