Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Roman prostitutes were forced to kill their own children and bury them in mass graves at English 'brothel' - 30th Aug 2011

The babies of Roman prostitutes were regularly murdered by their mothers, archaeologists have found.

A farmer's field in Hambleden, Buckinghamshire, yielded the grisly secret after a mass grave containing the remains of 97 babies - who all died around the same age - was uncovered.

Following a close study of the plot, experts have decided it was the site of an ancient brothel and terrible infanticides took place there.

With little or no effective contraception available to the Romans, who also considered infanticide less shocking than it is today, they may have simply murdered the children as soon as they were born.

Archaeologists say locals may have systematically killed and buried the helpless youngsters on the site.

Measurements of their bones at the site in Hambleden show all the babies died at around 40 weeks gestation, suggesting very soon after birth. If they had died from natural causes, they would have been different ages. Read More