Posted by: travelrat | October 31, 2017

Food at Stonehenge

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Stonehenge: October 2017

Over the half-term holiday, they changed the temporary exhibition in the Stonehenge Gallery to a new theme. Based on archaeological evidence from bones found at Durrington Walls, where it’s thought the builders of Stonehenge lived, it was possible to gain a good idea of what they ate in those days.

We already have, of course, a good idea of what they didn’t eat, for we know roughly when the more exotic foods were introduced from the Far East and the New World. ( I know we don’t regard, for instance, potatoes as ‘exotic’ these days, but they were when they were first introduced)  In fact, there’s a time-line in the exhibition which shows just this. Careful analysis of the bones, and of the residue found in pieces of pottery gives a very good idea of what they did eat. The archaeologists found, for instance, that their meat came mainly from pigs, with a few cows, some of which had been driven down from as far as Scotland.

They established, also, that Neolithic Man was lactose intolerant, and couldn’t drink raw cows’ milk. But he (or, more probably, she) could make cheese, which got rid of most of the lactose. Some of our volunteers tried their hand at cheesemaking … I wondered if six months down Wookey Hole might improve it.

kr

Unfortunately, photography isn’t permitted in the exhibition … but, over the holiday, re-enactors from ‘Tastes of History’ set up shop to demonstrate how the fare might have been cooked. One of the things they produced was grilled pork, which they served with unleavened wholemeal bread … not a thousand miles from what I bought at the kebab shop a couple of weeks ago!

kr


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