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England’s “Beachy Head Lady” Was Sub-Saharan Roman

Friday, March 28, 2014

EASTBOURNE, ENGLAND—While reviewing the collection of 300 sets of human remains from the excavation of two Saxon cemeteries, Heritage Officer Jo Seaman and her team found the well-preserved skeleton of a young woman from sub-Saharan Africa who was missing her wisdom teeth. Radiocarbon dating revealed that she had lived during the Roman period, around 200 or 250 A.D., and isotope analysis indicated that she had lived in southeast England. Without access to her grave, Seaman told Culture 24 that it is hard to know much about her social status. “We think we know roughly where the cemetery is and hopefully later this year we’re going to go and try to find it, just because we may be able to find other individuals there,” she said.