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I found some references to the Herculaneum soldier for a different topic, but I thought they deserved their own post.
Here is a nice illustration and a brief description of the man:
[url:3exkqqen]http://www.jay-matternes.com/H14.html[/url]

[url:3exkqqen]http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D04E7D91239F932A15752C1A964948260[/url]

Quote:The man was about 37 years old, didn't get enough calcium when he was a kid (he was probably poor) and is missing three of his front teeth (he was probably a brawler). His arms are muscular and his shoulders tend to bulge.

There is another description of him here in a very interesting read on, among other things, the height of a soldier:
[url:3exkqqen]http://pace.cns.yorku.ca/York/york/tei/logistics?id=26#N1010B[/url]

Anyone else have any more references, seeing as he was a real soldier.
Looks like you've uncovered a veritable treasure trove of sloppy science, Jim!

First, let's hear it for the fact-checkers/subbies of the NY Times:

Quote:Death was sudden

Hmmm. Like standing in front of a pyroclastic flow was in some way going to hurt you a little bit but not actually kebab you at high speed.

The illustration (without the large name watermark just to remind you who the author is) was originally published in National Geographic back in 1984. Did our man not notice that he had a bad case of Exposed Femur Syndrome? ;-)

Quote:This individual probably saw combat, as he had received a stab wound in the left thigh

Well I received a stab wound in my left thigh when I was about 7 or 8, but that was by sticking a garage door handle in it as I came off my bike. The left thigh is not the most obvious place for any shield-fighting combatant to receive an injury (regardless of whether they are a marine, infantryman, or cavalryman) and this just looks like guesswork.

Mike Bishop
Quote:Looks like you've uncovered a veritable treasure trove of sloppy science, Jim!
And why change the habit of a lifetime?

Got any useful info on the soldier, Mike?
Quote:Got any useful info on the soldier, Mike?

Not a lot, sadly. Peter Connolly drew the equipment soon after it was found (but wasn't allowed to publish those drawings) but it then sat around mouldering for a while before anybody decided to do anything with it, so far as I understand it (and good quality information is not exactly easy to come by). Now it is at least being worked on and publication is apparently on the cards in the near future, but one has to be slightly concerned that a find of this importance has been shunted into an academic siding for so long (22 years!); the Corbridge Hoard festered for 13 years after the Robinson book, 24 years after its discovery, and you'd have thought we (I use the collective 'we' charitably, there) would have learned by now... but no, it's the 'same old same old'. Blimey, was I ranting?...

So, in short, there are a couple of articles in the National Geographic and then the stuff toured around a bit recently during which somebody kindly took piccies of the pieces for me. Can you tell we don't work in quantum physics, yet?

Mike Bishop
Quote:but one has to be slightly concerned that a find of this importance has been shunted into an academic siding for so long (22 years!)
Nuts, just plain nuts. :roll:
I have two photos of the find of the soldier, are you interested in seeing them? A cordial greeting.
Quote:I have two photos of the find of the soldier, are you interested in seeing them? A cordial greeting.
Yes please! Big Grin
Yeah Smile Photo's would be good.
I happen to still have the National Geographic issue dealing with the Vesuvius eruption.
This is the caption going with the soldier's image.
Incidentally, the man died in 79 AD and still wore two military belts, contrary to a popular belief that says wearing a pair of belts had fallen out of fashion earlier.
"An eventful life, say the bones of the Soldier, about 37 years old. Three missing front teeth suggest a fight. An abnormal lump in the femur of his left leg, here separated and shown in front of its proper anatomical position, tells of a wound, possibly a stabbing, that penetrated to the bone and caused a blood clot that ossified. The femur had a rounded shaft, indicating much exercise and good nutrition. The abductor tubercle (arrow), is lightly enlarged, possibly from horseback riding, shinnying up trees, or holding lumber between the legs as a soldier-marine carpenter might do."
The body was found lying on its belly, with the arms in a "hands up position" which suggest that the Soldier was thrown on the ground with great force by the pyroclastic flow, and probably instantly incinerated.

I re-read the whole article and it looks like good journalistic work by the NYT... Again.. :roll:
Nowehere does it says the Soldier
Quote:didn't get enough calcium when he was a kid.
On the contrary it talks of "good nutrition".
Actually, that brilliant press person got the facts mixed-up: the person that didn't get enough calcium as a kid was a girl of about fourteen, found cradling a toddler in her arms. This telltale sign of malnutrition along with signs of hard physical work prompted the archaeologist to suggest that 14 year old girl was a slave.
"All the news that's fit to print"...:lol:
Indeed the study of the bodies at Herculaneum reveals that whereas the general --free-- population was in very good health, the slave population was much, much worse off.
A skeleton known as the Helmsman was found near a small boat, along the former shoreline. The man of about 45 years of age had rotten teeth --the free people had very good teeth-- flattened bones indicating very hard physical work, and six vertebrae of his middle back fused together..
Thanks. I just found a copy on Ebay for a few quid.

It's May 1984, if anyone's interested.

Quote:died in 79 AD and still wore two military belts, contrary to a popular belief that says wearing a pair of belts had fallen out of fashion earlier.
Very interesting, especially as they're the big Herculaneum belt plates (I'm assuming).
Tarbicus, on belts...
There is something that always puzzled me..
Check out "Greece and Rome at war", page 239.
The third legionary from the left. The one with the head turned to the rear.
Count the belts...
The last legionary on the right wears two (at least?)
I know, I know, it's Trajan's Column again...:roll:
However..
i think so too!

and yes i also am very interested in the photos of the legionary!

also Yours Mike, if you would be so kind to share them... and I will not!! cross my heart and hope to be crucified, publish them on the board!!

best wishes,

M.VIB.M.

PS would it be a good idea if a scholar would make an inventory of all Roman military skeletons/recogniseable remains (including equipment and such) in situ ??

so not the cremations........ or has this inventory already been done.....?
Quote:"...shinnying up trees, or holding lumber between the legs as a soldier-marine carpenter might do."

Any self-respecting publication should FIRE an idiot who comes up with crap like this...

Was he actually wearing both belts? I vaguely remember one being wrapped around the scabbard, but that could have been a different find altogether. Only one is visible in the National Geographic photo. The plates aren't that wide, actually, well under 2" (top to bottom). Albion Armorers used to make a nice copy.

Valete,

Matthew
Quote:Any self-respecting publication should FIRE an idiot who comes up with crap like this...
It was over twenty years ago! Tongue

Gaius Decius Aquilius

Quote: Any self-respecting publication should FIRE an idiot who comes up with crap like this...

Matthew

Are you trying to get every newspaper on the planet put out of business?

The leg wound is problematical. This area is protected by holding normal formation, but in my life experience as a medic and a police officer, I have seen wounds in very strange places, often caused by situations that would raise some eyebrows . Modern stats do show trends for modern armies for wound categories, but I don't think we have enough for the ancient world. Also, as pointed out, there is no guarantee this is a battle wound. This could have just as easily from a tavern brawl.

I also have noted from the Dura publication that 3rd century sword chapes seem to have a lot of breakage attributed to falling of a horse at an angle where the body lands on the sword. (Details excluded for sake of brevity). Our guy could, of conjecture, also taken the cut by such a fall, if he was a horseman. Such is also suggested by the bone structure. Or he just worked out a lot. Maybe.

Ralph Izard

EDIT: I just noticed the first illustration posted shows the femur of the right leg as having the injury. The NYT quote references the left leg... If indeed it was the left leg, then our guy could have fallen on his own pugio, perhaps. I did treat a stab wound where a knife was pushed through it's sheath and into a kidney of its wearer during a volleyball game.
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