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Ravens and crows in Iron Age and Roman Britain

Serjeantson, D. and Morris, J. (2011) Ravens and crows in Iron Age and Roman Britain Oxford Journal of Archaeology, 30, (1), pp. 85-107. (doi:10.1111/j.1468-0092.2010.00360.x).

Record type: Article


The raven and crow skeletons from Danebury are re-examined, taking into account their taphonomy, their context and the associated finds. Raven and crow burials from other Iron Age and Roman sites are surveyed, again with a discussion of their context and associated finds where these could be ascertained. Taken together, the evidence makes it clear that most if not all were deliberate burials, often at the base of pits. We demonstrate how interpretations of such burials have changed, with zooarchaeologists initially proposing functional explanations and archaeologists readier to accept that the burials were deliberate. We go on to argue that the unique character of ravens and crows, including their tolerance of humans, their scavenging habits, and their voice, led to their playing an important role in Iron Age and Roman rites and beliefs.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 26 January 2011
Published date: February 2011
Keywords: raven, crow, iron age, roman britain, pit deposits
Organisations: Archaeology


Local EPrints ID: 342286
ISSN: 0262-5253
PURE UUID: 47bcdadf-4447-4811-a64e-36709af7e66f

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Date deposited: 20 Aug 2012 13:45
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:30

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Author: D. Serjeantson
Author: J. Morris

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