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Carrington Street, Mayfair – evidence of the Rinderpest epidemics and horse knackering in early 18th century London

By 12/05/2022News

Our animal bone specialist Kevin Rielly will be giving a free, online talk on this site for the London Archaeological Forum on Monday May 16 at 6pm.

Our recent excavation at Carrington Street, just north of Green Park in London, provided several partial or near complete cattle burials as well as large dumps of horse bones, all dating to the early 18th century. The cattle burials conform to those found at other contemporary sites in London (in particular at the British Museum): invariably multiple burials of mature cows often accompanied by juveniles (calves). These are likely to represent rinderpest mortalities, a disease which had devastating effects on the British cattle population. The same site provided copious remains of partially articulated horse skeletons, almost certainly derived from a knackers yard. This yard obviously provided for certain post-mortem industries, with certain skeletal parts poorly represented, notably the metapodials and phalanges (foot bones), useful for bone working purposes and glue manufacture, while the flesh of these animals was undoubtedly sold on to pet food manufacturers, as indicated by the copious butchery marks.

Booking is free and all are welcome! Use the form below to register.