Ancient Chinese skeleton discovered at a Roman cemetery in London

Archaeologists unearthed two skeletons at a Roman cemetery sit at Lant Street in London, United Kingdom. The enamel analysis provided evidence that the individuals were of Chinese origin.

Details of one of the skeletons found at Lant Street (by Independent)
Details of one of the skeletons found at Lant Street (by Independent)

The experts examined dental enamel from over 20 sets of human remains from the site, dated to between 2nd-4th centuries AD. Two of the skeletons had been identified as possibly Chinese. This is the first time in Roman Britain that people with ancient Asian ancestry were identified. These are also 3rd or 4th such individuals from the whole area of the Roman Empire. The new discovery is said to overturn longstanding assumptions about the history of Roman Empire and Britain’s capital city, Londinium. It also suggests more interaction between Roman and Chinese empires.

One of the skeletons found at Lant Street (by Independent)
One of the skeletons found at Lant Street (by Independent)

The findings raise the possibility that Chinese traders settled in the area, and may have even set up their own trading communities but it is also possible that these individuals were themselves or were descended from enslaved people originating from Asia, as there were slave-trade connections between India and China, and India and Rome. As the Roman Empire expanded across Mediterranean and Europe many ethnically and geographically diverse communities assimilated and many people travelled due to trade or occupation throughout well established trade routes such as the Silk Road, linking Rome and China.

(after Independent)

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