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ABSTRACT: The samples from the proximal femora were taken from 12 cementeries from the Roman period. The skeletons date from the 1st-4th centuries A.D. Trace element analysis was used in order to reconstruct the basic diet. The sites that best corresponded to the model of Old Germanic diet described by ancient authors "meat, milk and cheese" were found in the Pruszcz Gdanski East Pomerania region close to the Baltic sea as well as in region Halle (Niemberg) and not far from Donau (Sládkovicovo). This diet is characterized by a large amount of protein and consequently of zinc. In the original Old Germanic region in a time period of more than 1000 years (from 400 B.C. to 700 A.D.) there is the same type of trace elements sources for bones and also the same type of the diet. This possibly distinguishes Germanic soldiers (aboriginal) from others groups in Roman legionary camps. It seems that the Donau River is very important for predicting the type of diet in the Roman period. North of the river animal component prevails south of the river vegetal component prevails. The rich agricultural land along the Donau River and in the Pannonian plains affects social arrangement as well as the structure of bones in Germans and Sarmats in the 2nd-4th centuries. Lead became a civilization element. It appeared in the diet of the Greek and Romans. Contamination varied with different social classes. We have found higher lead concentration in the femurs of the Germans than in those of the Sarmatians. The highest concentration we found was in Pannonian towns (Gorsium, Sopianae) and legionary camps (Straubing, Gerulata). In reference to age, the maxima of the highest lead concentrations in Gerulata II are between 11 and 13 years of age and between 40 and 50 years.
Acta Universitatis Carolinae. Medica 02/2000; 41(1-4):75-82.