Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Iron Age Feasting in England

Thursday, December 13, 2012

CHISELDON, UNITED KINGDOM—Cattle skulls and cauldrons indicate feasting was an important activity in southern England during the Iron Age. The 13 sturdy, decorative cauldrons are the largest group of such vessels ever to have been found in Europe. They had been buried together in a pit in an open area near a castle and a fort, which would have been an excellent meeting place. “Analysis of the interiors of the cauldrons has even revealed traces of animal fats, a tantalizing suggestion that these objects might have been used in cooking and serving meat-rich stews,” said Julia Farley of the British Museum. DNA testing could reveal what kind of meat had been cooked and served.