English 'beat French to frogs legs' claim after Wiltshire dig finds

Scene of dig in Amesbury The dig has uncovered the kinds of food being eaten 8,000 years ago

Related Stories

A major archaeological dig in Wiltshire has unearthed evidence of frogs legs being eaten in Britain, 8,000 years before France, it has been claimed.

The team, which consists of Mesolithic period experts, also found other types of food including salmon and nuts.

David Jacques, from the University of Buckingham, said people living there thousands of years ago were eating a "Heston Blumenthal-style menu".

The team hopes to confirm Amesbury as the UK's oldest continuous settlement.

The dig will run until 25 October.

It is being filmed and made into a documentary by the BBC, Smithsonian, CBC and others to be screened at a later date. The project is being led by the University of Buckingham.

'Most significant'

Mr Jacques added: "This is significant for our understanding of the way people were living around 5,000 years before the building of Stonehenge and it begs the question - where are the frogs now?"

The latest information is based on a report by fossil mammal specialist Simon Parfitt, of the Natural History Museum.

He examined the discoveries from the dig which has resulted in 12,000 finds, including 650 animal bones, all from the Mesolithic era.

Start Quote

By the end of this latest dig, I am sure the records will need to be altered”

End Quote Andy Rhind-Tutt Amesbury Museum and Heritage Trust

Andy Rhind-Tutt, chairman of Amesbury Museum and Heritage Trust and co-ordinator of the community involvement on the dig, said the studies at Amesbury could help explain why Stonehenge was created.

"No one would have built Stonehenge without there being something unique and really special about the area," he said.

"There must have been something significant here beforehand and Blick Mead, with its constant temperature spring sitting alongside the River Avon, may well be it.

"I believe that as we uncover more about the site over the coming days and weeks, we will discover it to be the greatest, oldest and most significant Mesolithic home base ever found in Britain."

He added: "Currently Thatcham - 40 miles from Amesbury - is proving to be the oldest continuous settlement in the UK with Amesbury 104 years younger.

"By the end of this latest dig, I am sure the records will need to be altered."

The site already boasts the biggest collection of flints and cooked animal bones in north west Europe.

The term Mesolithic refers to specific groups of archaeological cultures defined as falling between the Palaeolithic and the Neolithic periods.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Wiltshire

Weather

Swindon

Min. Night 1 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Signposts showing the US and UK flagsAn ocean apart

    How British misunderstanding of the US is growing


  • Before and after shotsPerfect body

    Just how reliable are 'before and after' photos?


  • Mukesh SinghNo remorse

    Delhi bus rapist says victim shouldn't have fought back


  • A cow wearing sunglasses overlaid with the phrase 'Can't touch this'Cow row

    Thousands rally against the ban on beef in India


Elsewhere on the BBC

Programmes

  • Former al-Qaeda double agent Aimen DeanHARDtalk Watch

    Islamic State is about revenge says former al-Qaeda member turned spy Aimen Dean

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.