Research done by British scientists shows that the Roman inhabitants of the ancient city of Portus had a very good diet – rich in meat and wine from North Africa.
Portus was built in the 1st century CE, during the reign of Emperor Claudius (41-54 CE). It was the main center of maritime trade, close to the capital. The workers living there benefited from dynamic trade and high profits. In this way their diet was comparable to that in the higher social classes.
Archaeologists carried out their research on human remains and compared them with other human remains from the 2nd to the 5th century CE, belonging to rich layers. The conclusion is clear – Portus was a truly unique place in the Roman world, where both the poor and the rich were eating in a similar, good way.
In addition, the results were compared with the bodies of people who died 455 CE – after the invasion of Italy by Vandals. Here results are worse (among others meat was replaced by beans). Such deterioration was certainly caused by the decline in trade and thus the deterioration of revenues.