Friday, December 14, 2012

An Iron Age Feast

This article from Discovery News indicates that the Iron Age Britons knew how to party.  The article describes an archaeological find in Chiseldon of the remains of a feast that took place more than 2,000 years ago.

According to the article, the find included 13 copper-alloy cauldrons with iron frames which bore traces of meat fats, and cattle skulls.  Also, the cauldrons were decorated with cow's head motifs, further suggesting that the meat prepared in them had been beef, though that hypothesis has not yet been either refuted or confirmed.  They were found in a pit that measures approximately 6.6 feet wide.

The article suggests that DNA testing of the fat remnants may at least tell us whether the meat cooked in the cauldrons was beef or something else (such as pork).  Perhaps we will learn that multiple types of meat were stewed in the cauldrons, making the main course of the meal a kind of bigos, a multiple-meat stew favored by Polish nobility in the 16th century.

It would also be interesting to learn whether any vegetables or grains were involved in the feast, though if the find had contained any obvious remains of such the article likely would have mentioned them.  Having prepared pot roast in my own slow cooker, I'm well aware that stewing meat by itself can still produce tasty food.  I hope to find out more about Iron Age cooking as the work in Chiseldon continues.


  1. Welcome.
    I amotorem medieval food. Osttanio came to me issued a series of excellent reissue of the first Polish cookbooks. I recommend with a clear conscience. Sorry for my poor English.

    I wish you a Merry Christmas. Inez

  2. Hi, Inez. Welcome!

    I was able to reach the shop page of the Muzeum Palac w Wilanowie, but they only had very small thumbnails of the books, with no text about them. Since I only have a part-time job, I'm not doing a lot of book-buying right now, and I usually look for more information before I do buy a book. But thanks for the suggestion! Reissues of early Polish cookbooks sound very interesting to me.