Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Vibrational spectroscopy to study ancient Roman funerary practices at the "Hypogeum of the Garlands" (Italy)
Authors: Festa, G. 
Rubini, M.
Zaio, P.
Gozzi, A.
Libianchi, N.
Parker, S. F. 
Romanelli, G.
de Carvalho, L. A. E. Batista 
Marques, M. P. M. 
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher: Nature Research
Project: UIDB/00070/2020 
Regione Lazio (IR approved by Giunta Regionale, Grant No. G10795, 7 August 2019 
Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche within CNR-STFC [Grant Agreement No. 2014–2020 (N 3420)] 
Serial title, monograph or event: Scientific Reports
Volume: 12
Issue: 1
Abstract: The "Hypogeum of the Garlands" is a sepulchral site, recently found in Grottaferrata (Lazio, Italy), dating back to the first-second century AD. Two sarcophagi were discovered inside, hosting the human remains of Aebutia Quarta, a rich Roman woman, and her son Carvilius Gemellus. While the body of Carvilius is exceptionally well-preserved, following its embalming and perfect sealing of the sarcophagus, in the case of Aebutia only the bones were preserved because of the sarcophagus's seal breaking down, although she was covered with perfectly preserved flower garlands. Embalming of the body was a rare ritual in the Imperial Roman times when corpses were more often cremated. The remains of Aebutia showed possible traces of heating. Burned bones from a third individual were discovered on the chamber's floor and preliminary anthropological survey showed that this individual was a male of 40-50 years old. Here, a combination of spectroscopic techniques, including non-destructive inelastic neutron scattering and Raman spectroscopy, and minimally destructive Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, were applied to the analysis of these bone samples to give information about ancient Roman funerary practices. The temperature and burning conditions were thus determined, showing that Aebutia Quarta was exposed to mild temperatures (200 °C) only in the upper part of the body, while the third individual was likely cremated as its bones were exposed to temperatures up to 900 °C in quasi-anaerobic conditions.
ISSN: 2045-2322
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-022-07689-0
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FCTUC Química - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

Show full item record

Google ScholarTM




This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons