Judging by the condition of the skeletons, archeologists concluded that the men likely carried loads on their backs at a nearby port during the early years of Imperial Rome, said Gabriella Gatto, a spokeswoman for the archeology office. Many ailments "seem to hark back to work as labourers, in transport and carrying of heavy loads, in an especially humid environment, circumstances that makes one think of the burial of individuals who worked in port areas of the city," the office said in a statement.

Artifacts found in the necropolis were simple ones, including lanterns to guide the dead to their next life, Gatto said. One ceramic-and-glass lantern was decorated with a grape harvest scene.
The dig yielded a glimpse into a working-class community that was "humble and marked by strong ties and solidarity among its members," the statement said.

Also excavated was a skeleton of a man whose lower jaw was fused to his upper jaw. Study indicated "how for all of his life this individual was fed, likely through the care of his family" with liquids or semisolids "introduced through a hole made through his teeth," the archeology statement said. The man lived into his 30s, a decent age at the time. Experts took that as evidence that the lower classes cared for the disabled.