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Ravens and crows in Iron Age Britain: the Danebury corvids reconsidered

Ravens and crows in Iron Age Britain: the Danebury corvids reconsidered
Ravens and crows in Iron Age Britain: the Danebury corvids reconsidered
Several skeletons and part-skeletons of ravens and crows or rooks were excavated from pits at the Iron Age hillfort of Danebury in southern Britain, together with some articulated wings and disarticulated bones. Re-analysis of the skeletal elements and taphonomy showed that wing and leg bones survived in approximately equal proportions. All or most had originally been complete birds. They had no butchery marks, but the wings had been snapped off three. Some had been gnawed by a small carnivore, probably after rather than before deposition. Two birds had signs of old age. The condition of the skeletons, their context, and the associated finds make it
clear that these were deliberate burials, probably one element in the propitiatory offerings in the Danebury pits.
Archaeology, corvids, Danebury, Iron Age, Roman Britain, ritual deposits
978-90-77922-77-4
175-185
Barkhuis and Groningen Institute of Archaeology
Serjeantson, Dale
deaa77e3-4cbf-4c6c-ad22-bbace6ac6194
Prummel, W.
Zeiler, J.T.
Brinkhuizen, D.C.
Serjeantson, Dale
deaa77e3-4cbf-4c6c-ad22-bbace6ac6194
Prummel, W.
Zeiler, J.T.
Brinkhuizen, D.C.

Serjeantson, Dale (2010) Ravens and crows in Iron Age Britain: the Danebury corvids reconsidered. Prummel, W., Zeiler, J.T. and Brinkhuizen, D.C. (eds.) In Birds in Archaeology. Proceedings of the 6th meeting of the ICAZ Bird Working Group. vol. 12, Barkhuis and Groningen Institute of Archaeology. pp. 175-185 .

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

Several skeletons and part-skeletons of ravens and crows or rooks were excavated from pits at the Iron Age hillfort of Danebury in southern Britain, together with some articulated wings and disarticulated bones. Re-analysis of the skeletal elements and taphonomy showed that wing and leg bones survived in approximately equal proportions. All or most had originally been complete birds. They had no butchery marks, but the wings had been snapped off three. Some had been gnawed by a small carnivore, probably after rather than before deposition. Two birds had signs of old age. The condition of the skeletons, their context, and the associated finds make it
clear that these were deliberate burials, probably one element in the propitiatory offerings in the Danebury pits.

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More information

Published date: December 2010
Keywords: Archaeology, corvids, Danebury, Iron Age, Roman Britain, ritual deposits

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 182937
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/182937
ISBN: 978-90-77922-77-4
PURE UUID: 4ec62bcc-ef90-45e1-85c3-4ee3c3fee739

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 28 Apr 2011 13:11
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 11:56

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