"The bone gatherers found in the annals and legends of the early Roman Catholic Church were women who collected the bodies of martyred saints to give them a proper burial. They have come down to us as deeply resonant symbols of grief: from the women who anointed Jesus's crucified body in the gospels to the Pieta, we are accustomed to thinking of women as natural mourners, caring for the body in all its fragility and expressing our deepest sorrow." "The Bone Gatherers introduces us to once powerful women who had, until recently, been lost to history - from the sorrowing mothers and ghastly brides of pagan Rome to the child martyrs and women sponsors who shaped early Christianity. It was often only in death that ancient women became visible - through the buildings, burial sites, and art constructed in their memory - and Denzey uses this archaeological evidence, along with ancient texts, to resurrect the lives of several fourth-century women."--BOOK JACKET.