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Revealing Lipid Analysis at Anglo-Saxon sites in Suffolk


New research on flint lined pits in Anglo-Saxon settlements:

"A common but enigmatic feature of many Anglo-Saxon settlements in Eastern England are rectangular pits, filled with fire-cracked flint and charcoal, with evidence of in situ burning. Most fall within a size range of 1.5m–2.5m by 0.7m–1.5m; their depth is more variable and site specific. These are usually undated by finds; the first excavated examples were assumed to have been prehistoric and were therefore not included in the description of the Anglo-Saxon phases. However, over the last 15 years the link with the Anglo-Saxons has been confirmed by minimal finds dating, radiocarbon dating and spatial association. But what are they for? The pits appear typically to have had a single use and they occur too infrequently to be representative of everyday activity. Evidence from one such pit at Eye in Suffolk suggested that the flints were placed on a lattice of wood over a fire in the base of the pit. Presumably as the fire burnt the flints would collapse into the pit, shutting out the oxygen and smothering the fire, leaving a bed of ‘hot rocks’. But for what? Cooking, perhaps for an occasional feast? An industrial process? We now have an answer."


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