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Baby Brothel Burials

In 1912 a group of archeologists were somewhat perturbed when, whilst excavating an Ancient Roman villa in Buckinghamshire, they uncovered the remains of some 97 infants. By measuring the bones of the skeletons it was determined that each had died at around 40 weeks gestation, that is, shortly after birth, suggesting systematic infanticide, as opposed to disease, which would have effected the children at different ages. Meticulous records from the dig, maintained by naturalist and archaeologist Alfred Heneage Cocks, show how the remains were found under walls and close together under courtyards. No other site has ever been found which yielded this quantity of infant skeletons.

These curious circumstances lead towards one plausible yet unfortunate conclusion: the babies were the unwanted children of prostitutes, and the building in which they were found was an Ancient Roman brothel. With no effective contraception, unwanted pregnancies were inevitable and frequent in the Roman era, whilst evidence suggests that children were not considered to be ‘full’ human beings until the age of two and, as such, were not buried in cemeteries. 

[Sources: BBC News | Thanks to Vintage-Royalty]

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