A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
Ancient Bedbug Body Parts Identified at Vindolanda
Thursday, February 8, 2024
NORTHUMBERLAND, ENGLAND—The Guardian reports that two thoraxes thought to belong to the common bedbug, Cimex lectularius, have been identified among artifacts excavated at Vindolanda, a Roman garrison site located near Hadrian’s Wall, the northern border of the Roman Empire in what is now northern England. Archaeoentomologist Katie Wyse Jackson of University College Dublin found the insect parts among items dated to about A.D. 100. The bedbugs likely traveled to Britain on clothing and mattresses carried by Romans, she surmised. Wyse Jackson has also found insects in soil samples from the site that offer clues to daily life. “I can learn about trade, food storage, hygiene, [and] waste disposal from what species are present and in what numbers,” she said. “At the moment, I’m finding a large amount of grain and dung beetles.” These insects, she explained, suggest that the space was not clean. For more on Vindolanda, go to "The Wall at the End of the Empire: Life on the Frontier."
Earliest archers in the Americas, sounds of a spirit cave, Tibetan yak herders, joining up with Caesar, and the first Buddhist king of the Khmer Empire
Don’t forget your basket