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Roman sheep skeletons: an update

By 07/02/2022March 22nd, 2022News

The sheep skeletons we found recently, at a Roman settlement-edge site in the Fens in Cambridgeshire, have been cleaned and lifted with the help of Kevin Rielly, PCA’s animal bone specialist. The first count of MNI’s (minimum number of individuals) on site was up to 25 individuals. The skeletons were all females of various ages plus one ram, so we are definitely dealing with a whole flock that was disposed of.

The most popular theory (Kevin’s) is that this was a diseased flock, but other ideas range from laying waste of the landscape during Boudicca’s revolt to the inevitable ritual… Excavations on a site c. 650m to the north had revealed 8 cattle and 6 horses disposed of in a ditch, so there’s definitely something going on.

As this seems to be an as yet unique find, all ideas are welcome!