An exciting, new collaboration between Fishbourne Roman Palace, zooarchaeologist Prof. Naomi Sykes (University of Exeter), archaeogeneticists Prof. Greger Larson (University of Oxford) and Dr. Laurent Frantz (Queen Mary University), and members of the Ancient DNA Research Group from the University of Portsmouth kicked off with a meeting at the Palace on 18-19 December.

Culture and Heritage Hub members Dr. Sam Robson, Dr. Frank Schubert and MRes student Teri Hansford represented Portsmouth. The project will explore the origin of the cattle remains found at the Palace and surrounding areas, particularly the relationship with Celtic or continental breeds. The results will provide insight into agricultural practice at the transition from Celtic to Roman period, and relationship between the Roman and Celtic culture in the region. Guided by the Palace’s curator, Rob Symmons, ancient cattle mandibles representing different periods in the Palace’s history were selected from the collection. Our team returned to Portsmouth with a selection of mandibles to undertake the genetic analysis using cutting edge DNA sequencing technology over the coming months.