Wednesday 21 December 2011

Experimental pig husbandry: soil studies from West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village, Suffolk, UK

Pig husbandry is practised across the world and often identified in the archaeological record from bones, sometimes also supported by insect and parasite egg studies (e.g. on the Anglo-Scandinavian occupation deposits at Coppergate, York; Kenward & Hall 1995: 759, 778) as well as by coprostanol analysis. Where bones, insects or parasite eggs are not preserved, pig management is less easy to recognise. Nevertheless, soil features and faecal residues may provide micromorphological and chemical indicators of the former presence of pigs and their impact on archaeological stratigraphy.

Read the rest of this article...

Thursday 8 December 2011

Skeletons under patio

A COUPLE were shocked to discover a number of bodies under their patio during construction work at their home in Ratley last week.

Builders were digging up the patio of keen historians Stephen and Nicky West when the discovery of at least four bodies was made and the couple promptly called archaeology experts from Warwickshire County Council.
The archaeologists identified the remains as the bodies of two adult females, a young male and a child aged between ten and 12.

It was determined that the find was of considerable historic importance and that any foul play had taken place a very long time ago.

An archaeological survey was carried out and radiocarbon dating showed the remains date back to about 650-820AD, known as the middle Saxon period.

Read the rest of this article...

Archaeologists unearth 7th-century house in Yorkshire Dales

Humanity's long attachment to Yorkshire has notched up another piece of early evidence with the discovery of the first 7th-century house to be recorded in the Dales national park.

Volunteer archaeologists dug down into an outcrop of stones on the flanks of Ingleborough fell, one of the Three Peaks famous for walks and marathon runs, where settlements were thought to exist but none had been excavated owing to shortages of time, expertise and funds.

The team revealed two chamber rooms with charcoal remains and pieces of chert, a hard flint knapped in ancient times to make tools.

Carbon-dating of the charcoal has placed the use of the building at between AD660 and AD780, when Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were consolidating in northern England.

Read the rest of this article...