A428 Dig: Evidence of Iron Age feast discovered

  • In Science
  • 2022-12-01 08:42:01Z
  • By BBC
Feast pit containing burnt stones and animal bones
Feast pit containing burnt stones and animal bones  

Archaeologists have found evidence of a feast dating back more than 2,000 years at a site of a road improvement scheme.

Excavations found pottery and animal bones pointing to evidence of a communal area for feasts as part of the proposed work on the A428 between the Black Cat roundabout in Bedfordshire and Caxton Gibbet in Cambridgeshire.

Experts believe the discoveries could highlight changes in diet and gifting.

Earlier this year experts also found evidence of Roman era beer brewing.

During the dig, the team from the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) uncovered a pit full of animal bones, pottery and burnt stones.

They believe it showed evidence of a large fire which Iron Age communities would have gathered around for feasts, between 800BC and AD43.

Specialists will now analyse the bones, pottery, and other evidence like burnt grains, to narrow down the time period and learn more about the feasts.

Pottery uncovered at the site
Pottery uncovered at the site  

Towards the end of the Iron Age, new ingredients like olives and coriander began to be imported, the team said.

Archaeologists believe analysing the grains could highlight how diets changed.

They also hope the pottery will give an insight into trading or gift exchanges across the Channel.

Gary Brogan, MOLA Project Director said: "The A428 excavations are an amazing opportunity, we are getting to see the big picture of life in the past across the region.

"Uncovering an Iron Age feast and possible evidence for beer brewing in the early Roman period, is transforming our understanding of the past communities of Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire, from what they were eating and drinking, to how they may have traded both locally and across the Roman Empire."

Lorraine Bennetts, senior project manager at National Highways, described the finds as "fascinating discoveries".

"It's been wonderful to see how the A428 improvements are revealing the stories of the people living in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire thousands of year ago, which we hope will inspire and intrigue local residents in the present day," she said.

"The uncovering of this Iron Age feast is just the beginning, and we look forward to sharing more information as the dig progresses."

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