Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Lovely Bones

My place of work is large offices in the middle of London near St Paul’s. During the building several years ago the site was thoroughly excavated, and today some of the findings were exhibited.

Amongst the many bones were remains of Raven, Red Kite, Goshawk, Sparrowhawk, Quail, and Common Crane, all from between 1300ish and 1666 (all except the Crane the earlier part of this period).

One of the archaeologists explained that Crane remains are often found at sites of banquets or other ceremonial meals. So I got wondering if Cranes were kept, probably pinioned, for such occasions, and possibly transported live from the continent. Maybe the same for some of the other birds. Can we be sure these birds were genuinely wild in the UK, and not transported and farmed?

No comments: