Leftovers from 2,000-year-old feast — and a ‘crockpot’ — unearthed at UK farmstead

After a gathering and filling meal, no one wants to do the dishes. That hasn’t changed in over 2,000 years, archaeologists in the U.K. concluded after a recent discovery.

Archaeologists excavating a highway construction site near Cambridge unearthed a big pit filled with “rubbish” from a communal feast, the Museum of London Archaeology said in a news release. The leftovers dated back to the Iron Age, a period from 800 B.C. to 43 A.D.

The pit contained animal bones from cattle and either sheep or goats, researchers said. Cattle, sheep and pigs were common menu items for people during the Iron Age.

Communal feasts, however, were reserved for “special occasions or important times of the year,” archaeologists said. People often lived in smaller settlements and came to a central gathering place for celebrations and feasts.

The farmstead near Cambridge may have hosted these types of feasts, the release from Thursday, Dec. 15, said.

The feast pit contained more than food. Archaeologists also uncovered large cooking vessels similar to a “modern day crockpot,” transportation officials wrote on Facebook along with a photo of the finds.

Burn marks on the outside of the pots indicated the vessels were “used to boil soups and stews over an open fire,” the post said.

Pottery found in the pit.
Pottery found in the pit.

The archaeological excavations took place before construction of the A428 Highway. This highway is part of the A428 Black Cat to Caxton Gibbet transportation improvement project, according to the National Highways website.

The construction site is near Cambridge and about 60 miles northeast of London.

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