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Original article:

heritagedaily.com
Devon farmers who made their home in the same remote location for 1,200 years had a taste for exotic imported food and drink, archaeologists have found.

There was a thriving settlement in Ipplepen, South Devon, for hundreds of years longer than previously thought, excavations have shown.
It was originally thought that people only lived on the site during the Roman period, but radiocarbon analysis now shows the settlement was founded in the middle of the pre-Roman Iron Age – the 4th century BC. It was only finally abandoned in the 8th century AD, possibly because of the foundation of Ipplepen village nearby.
The radiocarbon analysis was of burials and charcoal found by University of Exeter archaeologists in 2015-16. They have been excavating different parts of the area during the past few years and have been digging again this month.
The team is again working with the local community to discover more about the site. They are joined by ten members of the local community who are helping them to excavate the area thanks to generous support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
In previous years the excavations have revealed where people lived, and where they buried their dead, but excavations this year have given clues as to how they were making a living. The remains of a granary suggests it may have been used to store grain produced though farming the surrounding fields, while debris from iron working shows that there was also industrial production.
Roman pottery, some if it imported from France and the Mediterranean, shows this was a community with a taste for exotic food and drink.
Professor Stephen Rippon of the University of Exeter said: “When we started excavating we thought that the site was only used during the Roman period, but the appliance of science has shown that it was occupied for well over a thousand years. Our excavations have given us further insight into how people made a living too.
“It is wonderful that the local community are able to share in the excitement of what we are finding and Heritage Lottery Funding for their training has made this possible.”
The public can visit the site on Sunday 25 June when there will be guided tours and the opportunity to see the latest finds. There will also be the chance to learn about Roman coins with leading coin expert Dr Sam Moorhead from the British Museum, and stalls run by Devon County Council’s Historic Environment team and Torquay Museum. There will also be activities for children, including the chance to meet a Roman thanks to re-enactment group the Isca Romans. There will also be Egyptian food available and the Ipplepen Carnival Club will be running a refreshment marquee.
Devon archaeologist Danielle Wootton, who is working at the site, said “Last year, we welcomed 1,200 visitors in just six hours and it was great to see the public so interested in this important archaeological site on their doorstep. We look forward to welcoming everyone again this year.”
Dr Chris Smart of the University of Exeter said: “We are so excited to be able to show everyone the hidden past of Ipplepen. The generosity of the Heritage Lottery Fund will enable us to help the community to record some of the most important archaeological and historic sites within the region and this will be of huge benefit to future generations.”
The Ipplepen Archaeological Project team have also undertaken a series of workshops in local schools. Before the excavation began this year, Danielle Wootton and Chris Smart visited several schools including Ipplepen Primary School, Abbotskerswell Primary School, and Sands Secondary School in Ashburton, to talk about the history of the site and what has been found there. Groups from all the schools are now visiting the site to work with archaeologists, students and volunteers. This has so far included building a roundhouse wall, designing a Roman coin, and learning to identify different types of pottery.
University of Exeter

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The finds from Clapham’s Coffee House, some of which are pictured here, included teapots, wine glasses, and clay pipes. (Image: Cambridge Archaeological Unit)
Credit: Cambridge Archaeological Unit

Original Article:

cam.ac.uk

 

Customers today may settle for a flat white and a cinnamon swirl, but at coffee shops 250 years ago, many also expected ale, wine, and possibly a spot of calf’s foot jelly, a new study has shown.

Following its identification during an archaeological survey, researchers are publishing complete details of the most significant collection of artefacts from an early coffee shop ever recovered in the UK. The establishment, called Clapham’s, was on a site now owned by St John’s College, Cambridge, but in the mid-to-late 1700s it was a bustling coffeehouse – the contemporary equivalent, academics say, of a branch of Starbucks.

Researchers from the Cambridge Archaeological Unit – part of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cambridge – uncovered a disused cellar which had been backfilled with unwanted items, possibly at some point during the 1770s. Inside, they found more than 500 objects, many in a very good state of preservation. These included drinking vessels for tea, coffee and chocolate, serving dishes, clay pipes, animal and fish bones, and an impressive haul of 38 teapots.

The assemblage has now been used to reconstruct what a visit to Clapham’s might have been like, and in particular what its clientele ate and drank. The report suggests that the standard view of early English coffeehouses, as civilised establishments where people engaged in sober, reasoned debate, may need some reworking.

Customers at Clapham’s, while they no doubt drank coffee, also enjoyed plenty of ale and wine, and tucked into dishes ranging from pastry-based snacks to substantial meals involving meat and seafood. The discovery of 18 jelly glasses, alongside a quantity of feet bones from immature cattle, led the researchers to conclude that calf’s foot jelly, a popular dish of that era, might well have been a house speciality.

Craig Cessford, from the Cambridge Archaeological Unit, said that by modern standards, Clapham’s was perhaps less like a coffee shop, and more like an inn.

“Coffee houses were important social centres during the 18th century, but relatively few assemblages of archaeological evidence have been recovered and this is the first time that we have been able to study one in such depth,” he said.

“In many respects, the activities at Clapham’s barely differed from contemporary inns. It seems that coffeehouses weren’t completely different establishments as they are now – they were perhaps at the genteel end of a spectrum that ran from alehouse to coffeehouse.”

Although the saturation of British high streets with coffee shops is sometimes considered a recent phenomenon, they were in fact also extremely common centuries ago. Coffee-drinking first came to Britain in the 16th century and increased in popularity thereafter. By the mid-18th century there were thousands of coffeehouses, which acted as important gathering places and social hubs. Only towards the end of the 1700s did these start to disappear, as tea eclipsed coffee as the national drink.

Clapham’s was owned by a couple, William and Jane Clapham, who ran it from the 1740s until the 1770s. It was popular with students and townspeople alike, and a surviving verse from a student publication of 1751 even attests to its importance as a social centre: “Dinner over, to Tom’s or Clapham’s I go; the news of the town so impatient to know.”

The researchers think that the cellar was perhaps backfilled towards the end of the 1770s, when Jane, by then a widow, retired and her business changed hands. It then lay forgotten until St John’s commissioned and paid for a series of archaeological surveys on and around the site of its Old Divinity School, which were completed in 2012.

Some of the items found were still clearly marked with William and Jane’s initials. They included tea bowls (the standard vessel for drinking tea at the time), saucers, coffee cans and cups, and chocolate cups – which the researchers were able to distinguish because they were taller, since “chocolate was served with a  frothy, foamy head”. They also found sugar bowls, milk and cream jugs, mixing bowls, storage jars, plates, bowls, serving dishes, sauceboats, and many other objects.

Even though Clapham’s was a coffeehouse, the finds suggest that tea was fast winning greater affection among drinkers; tea bowls were almost three times as common as coffee cans or cups.

Perhaps more striking, however, was the substantial collection of tankards, wine bottles and glasses, indicating that alcohol consumption was normal. Some drinkers appear to have had favourite tankards reserved for their personal use, while the team also found two-handled cups, possibly for drinking “possets” – milk curdled with wine or ale, and often spiced.

Compared with the sandwiches and muffins on offer in coffee shops today, dining was a much bigger part of life at Clapham’s. Utensils and crockery were found for making patties, pastries, tarts, jellies, syllabubs and other desserts. Animal bones revealed that patrons enjoyed shoulders and legs of mutton, beef, pork, hare, rabbit, chicken and goose. The researchers also found oyster shells, and bones from fish such as eel, herring and mackerel.

Although coffeehouses have traditionally been associated with the increasing popularity of smoking in Britain, there was little evidence of much at Clapham’s. Just five clay pipes were found, including one particularly impressive specimen which carries the slogan “PARKER for ever, Huzzah” – possibly referring to the naval Captain Peter Parker, who was celebrated for his actions during the American War of Independence. The lack of pipes may be because, at the time, tobacco was considered less fashionable than snuff.

Together, the assemblage adds up to a picture in which, rather than making short visits to catch up on the news and engage in polite conversation, customers often settled in for the evening at an establishment that offered them not just hot beverages, but beer, wine, punch and liqueurs, as well as extensive meals. Some even seem to have “ordered out” from nearby inns if their favourite food was not on the menu.

There was little evidence, too, that they read newspapers and pamphlets, the rise of which historians also link to coffeehouses. Newspapers were perishable and therefore unlikely to survive in the archaeological record, but the researchers also point out that other evidence of reading – such as book clasps – has been found on the site of inns nearby, while it is absent here.

“We need to remember this was just one of thousands of coffeehouses and Clapham’s may have been atypical in some ways,” Cessford added. “Despite this it does give us a clearer sense than we’ve ever had before of what these places were like, and a tentative blueprint for spotting the traces of other coffeehouse sites in archaeological assemblages in the future.”

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Original Article:

plymouthherald.co.uk

By Keith Rossiter

Photos: Emily Whitfield-Wicks

King Arthur and his knights may – or may not – have lived at Tintagel.

But archaeologists have uncovered evidence that whoever occupied the legendary castle on the North Cornwall coast did live like a king.

Excavations have revealed that the inhabitants feasted on a diet of oysters, roast pork and fine wine, dining and drinking from bowls imported from Turkey and glass goblets from Spain.

As archaeologists returned to Tintagel to continue their investigations today, English Heritage revealed the finds uncovered in last year’s dig by the Cornwall Archaeological Unit.

Part of a glass cup c550AD Photograph by Emily Whitfield-Wicks.

The 2016 work was the first research excavation at Tintagel Castle in decades, and unearthed a feast of historical finds from the centuries that have been called “Cornwall’s First Golden Age”.

During this period, Tintagel was almost certainly a royal site with trading links reaching from the Celtic Sea to the eastern Mediterranean.

The excavation also uncovered a selection of stone-walled structures on the southern terrace of Tintagel Castle’s island area, with substantial stone walls and slate floors, accessed by a flight of slate steps.

Significant finds included a section of a fine Phocaean red slipped ware bowl from Turkey, imported wares and amphorae thought to be from southern Turkey or Cyprus and fine glassware from Spain.

Archaeologists also found evidence which suggests that those living at Tintagel at the time were enjoying a rich diet, as shown by pig, cow and sheep or goat bones with signs of burning and butchering, oyster shells and a cod cranial bone, the first evidence of deep sea fishing at Tintagel.

 Win Scutt from English Heritage said: “These finds reveal a fascinating insight into the lives of those at Tintagel Castle more than 1,000 years ago.

“It is easy to assume that the fall of the Roman Empire threw Britain into obscurity, but here on this dramatic Cornish clifftop they built substantial stone buildings, used fine table wares from Turkey, drank from decorated Spanish glassware and feasted on pork, fish and oysters.

“They were clearly making use of products like wine and oil contained in amphorae traded from the eastern Mediterranean.”

Jacky Nowakowski, project director at the archaeological unit, said: “Our plan in 2017 is to open up a much larger area on the southern terrace so that we get a good look at the scale and size of the buildings and find out exactly when they were built and how they were used.

“All indications to date could suggest that they are residential buildings perhaps lived in by important members of the community who lived and traded at Tintagel more than 800 years ago.

“Visitors and those following the project online will be able to see the excavations in action and hear about new discoveries day by day and to share in the excitement of this new research.”

Archaeologists will be on-site until August 11, and the public can see them in action.

Find out more at english-heritage.org.uk/tintagel

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Source: A Cornucopia of Condiments – Archaeology Magazine

 

 

 

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Original article:

BBC.com
Britain’s Pompeii” was just a few months old when it burnt down, it has emerged.
Analysis of wood used to build the settlement suggests it was only lived in for a short time before it was destroyed.
Despite this, archaeologists said the site gives an “exquisitely detailed” insight into everyday Bronze Age life.
Evidence of fine fabric-making, varied diets and vast trading networks has been found during the 10-month dig.

in Whittlesey, Cambridgeshire, has been compared to that seen at Pompeii, a Roman city buried by ash when Vesuvius erupted in AD 79.

At least five circular houses raised on stilts above the East Anglian fens have been found.
David Gibson, of the Cambridge Archaeological Unit, University of Cambridge, said the site allowed researchers to “visit in exquisite detail everyday life in the Bronze Age”.
“Domestic activity within structures is demonstrated from clothing to household objects, to furniture and diet,” he said.
“These dwellings have it all, the complete set, it’s a ‘full house’.


‘Pompeii of the Fens’
What the excavation reveals:
The people living here made their own high quality textiles, like linen. Some of the woven linen fabrics are made with threads as thin as the diameter of a coarse human hair and are among the finest Bronze Age examples found in Europe

Other fabrics and fibres found include balls of thread, twining, bundles of plant fibres and loom weights which were used to weave threads together. Textiles were common in the Bronze Age but it is very rare for them to survive today

Animal remains suggest they ate a diet of wild boar, red deer, calves, lambs and freshwater fish such as pike. The charred remains of porridge type foods, emmer wheat and barley grains have been found preserved in amazing detail, sometimes still inside the bowls they were served in

There were areas in each home for storing meat and a separate area for cooking

Even 3,000 years ago people seemed to have a lot of stuff. Each of the houses was fully equipped with pots of different sizes, wooden buckets and platters, metal tools, saddle querns (stone tools for grinding grains), weapons, textiles, loom weights and glass beads.

After the fire, the buildings sank into a river which has helped preserve them.

the oak structures, has suggested the circular houses were still new and had only been lived in for a few months.

The homes were, however, well equipped with pots of different sizes, wooden buckets and platters, metal tools, saddle querns (stone tools for grinding grains), weapons, textiles, loom weights and glass beads.

Archaeologists say beads found at the site originally came from the Mediterranean or Middle East.

chief executive of Historic England, said: “This has transformed our knowledge of Bronze Age Britain.

“Over the past 10 months, Must Farm has given us an extraordinary window into how people lived 3,000 years ago.

“Now we know what this small but wealthy Bronze Age community ate, how they made their homes and where they traded.

“Archaeologists and scientists around the world are learning from Must Farm and it’s already challenged a number of longstanding perceptions.”

Must Farm was named best discovery at the 2016 British Archaeological Awards.

Image caption

The charred remains of porridge type foods, emmer wheat and barley grains have been found preserved in amazing detail, sometimes still inside the bowls they were served in.

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The area surveyed included Lamb Lea scheduled monument, the land within the red line between Hampshire and the Arun river valley

The area surveyed included Lamb Lea scheduled monument, the land within the red line between Hampshire and the Arun river valley

 

Original Article:

bbc.com

July 12, 2016

 

Evidence of a prehistoric “farming collective” has been discovered after aerial laser scanning was carried out in the South Downs National Park.
Large-scale farming from before the Roman invasion suggests a high level of civilisation, archaeologists said.
The survey also revealed the route of a long-suspected Roman road between Chichester and Brighton.
It covered an area between the Arun river valley in West Sussex and Queen Elizabeth Country Park in Hampshire.

The “Lidar” survey technique uses an aircraft-mounted laser beam to scan the ground and produce a 3D model of features that survive as earthworks or structures in open land or woodland.
Images of land between Lamb Lea Woods and Charlton Forest showed that a field system already protected as a scheduled monument was just a small part of a vast swathe of later pre-historic cultivation extending under a now wooded area.
James Kenny, archaeological officer at Chichester District Council, said it suggested a civilisation closer to ancient Greece, Egypt or Rome than what is known of prehistoric Britain.
‘Organised farming’
“One of our biggest findings is the discovery of a vast area farmed by pre-historic people on an astonishing scale,” said Trevor Beattie, chief executive of the South Downs National Park Authority,
Mr Kenny added that the evidence raised questions about who was growing the crops, who was eating the food and where they were living.
“The scale is so large that it must have been managed, suggesting that this part of the country was being organised as a farming collective,” he said.
The route of the road suggests the Romans would have headed out from their settlement at Chichester on Stane Street, the road to London, before branching east towards Arundel.

“The recognition of the ‘missing link’ in the Roman road west of Arundel was a highlight in a project full of exciting results,” said Helen Winton, aerial investigation manager at Historic England.

 

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Shakespeare’s family home New Place, in Stratford-upon-Avon

Shakespeare’s family home New Place, in Stratford-upon-Avon

 

 Shakespeare’s ‘kitchen’

Shakespeare’s ‘kitchen’

 

Original Article:

Shakespeare.org.uk

November 27, 2015

 

Historic finds unveiled during dig at Shakespeare’s family home New Place, in Stratford-upon-Avon.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has today announced that significant new findings have been unearthed during an archaeological dig, led by Staffordshire University’s Centre of Archaeology, at its ambitious New Place project. New Place was Shakespeare’s family home at the height of his career for almost two decades. The dig has enhanced and extended knowledge and understanding about what for too long has felt like a missing-piece in Shakespeare’s story. The latest discoveries include the site of Shakespeare’s ‘kitchen’ including the great dramatist’s ‘oven’ and ‘fridge’.

In addition to identifying Shakespeare’s ‘kitchen’, the dig has also helped establish the size of New Place. This has enabled the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust to commission new evidence-based drawings of New Place, which depict an accurate version of how the house would have looked during Shakespeare’s ownership.

Shakespeare’s New Place was the largest single residence in the borough of Stratford-upon-Avon, and was purchased for the considerable sum of £120 in 1597 (a Stratford school teacher at this time would have earned about £20 per annum). It had an impressive frontage, a Great Chamber and Gallery, over 20 rooms and 10 fireplaces.

The ‘kitchen’ not only had the ‘oven’ (or fire hearth) and ‘fridge’ (or cold storage pit), but the team also found evidence of the brew house where small beer was made (drunk instead of unsafe water) and where pickling and salting took place. Fragments of plates, cups and other cookware were also found. Facsimiles of the cookware will be available for visitors to handle, and will be on display at New Place in the neighbouring Grade 1 listed Nash’s House (Tudor in origin), which is currently undergoing a major refurbishment as part of the project.

Alongside the findings contemporary to Shakespeare, the dig also revealed early medieval foundations and Iron Age archaeology. In order to preserve these finds for future generations, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has been meticulous in following best practice, and has redesigned key features of the construction and landscaping to work in harmony with the archaeology, whilst ensuring that all parts of the new heritage landmark will be fully accessible for the first time.

The latest dig was undertaken earlier this year in preparation for the re-presentation of Shakespeare’s New Place as an exciting, and modern, retelling of Shakespeare’s family home and the living, breathing man behind the great works – husband, father and son of Stratford. Shakespeare’s New Place is scheduled to open in July 2016.

The £5.25 million project – the most ambitious and permanent initiative to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death being celebrated throughout 2016 – is being funded with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic England and through public donations raised through a host of initiatives spearheaded by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.

Dr Paul Edmondson, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s Head of Research and Knowledge, said,“Finding Shakespeare’s ‘kitchen’ proved to be a vital piece of evidence in our understanding of New Place. Once we had uncovered the family’s oven we were able to understand how the rest of the house fitted around it. The discovery of the cooking areas, brew house, pantry and cold storage pit, combined with the scale of the house, all point to New Place as a working home as well as a house of high social status.

“A much richer picture of Shakespeare has emerged through the course of our excavations. At New Place we can catch glimpses of Shakespeare the playwright and country-town gentleman. His main task was to write and a house as impressive as New Place would have played an important part in the rhythm of his working life.”

Julie Crawshaw, Project Manager of Shakespeare’s New Place said, “The Trust knows just how powerful this site is, not just because of what will be seen above the ground, but also because of the history which lies underneath; layers of earth and foundations which have been untouched for hundreds of years.

“We have unearthed some significant archaeology which is all part of the story of New Place and its history. This will be shared in our exciting re-telling of New Place, where visitors will be able to discover Shakespeare on the very ground where his family home stood, imagined through specially commissioned, extraordinary art works, creative landscaping, and newly curated exhibitions, all shedding new light on the story of Shakespeare in Stratford .

“Meticulous work however, is not fast work, and we have had to reconfigure our original plans to accommodate the rich findings in previously unexplored ground. This has resulted in an unavoidable delay in starting groundworks, which will have a knock-on effect on our original schedule, particularly as we will now be building through the winter weather. It is thanks to the passion and skill of our team of designers, architects, engineers and conservation specialists that we are on track to open in summer2016.”

Shakespeare's Home

Shakespeare’s Home

Well

Contractors involved in the transformation of Shakespeare’s New Place, led by the Shakespeare Birthplace Project team include:

Archaeologists:Staffordshire University’s Centre for Archaeology, led by Kevin Colls and Will Mitchell.

Artistic Direction: Timothy O’Brien, RDI and Chris Wise, RDI (Expedition Engineering)

Structural Engineers (New Place): Expedition Engineering Ltd, Eva MacNamara, William Valla

Conservation Structural Engineers (Nash’s House): Ramboll UK Ltd, Roger Shaw

Architects: Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Lee Holcombe

Construction: Splitlath Building Conservation, led by Shaun Gay and John Dimbylow

Landscape Architects: Gillespies LLP, Phillip Smith, Ana Neto

Quantity Surveyors: Greenwood Projects Ltd, Matt Mctaggart, Jeremy Stone

Exhibition Design: Real Studios Ltd, Yvonne Golds, Alexandra Prescott, Alistair McCaw

Mechanical & Electrical Engineering: Qoda Consulting (Oxford) Ltd, Neil Whithead, Martin Merritt

Lighting Design: Speirs & Major, Mark Major, Kere Asfuroglu

Disability Access Advisor: Elizabeth Dixon

ENDS

For further information, access to high res images, or interviews please contact Flagship Consulting belinda.hallworth@flagshipconsulting.co.uk or call Sophy Norris – 01392 248 934 or 07930 385 849, Belinda Hallworth – 020 7680 7114 or 07969 751 467, Adrian King – 020 7680 7112

 

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