Learn how isotopic analysis of elements, such as oxygen and carbon, provides clues about ancient human remains in this video from NOVA: Roman Catacomb Mystery. In 2003, an interconnected set of tombs, called the X Tombs, were discovered under the city of Rome. Analyses of the bones and teeth found in the X Tombs indicate that the people buried there were wealthy and mobile; they ate a diet rich in meat and fish (unlike average Romans) and may have come from northern Europe and northern Africa. Scientists are still searching for clues to better understand who the people of the X Tombs were and why they were buried in mass burials.
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