Tyne and Wear HER(11961): Newcastle, Orchard Street, animal bones - Details
Newcastle, Orchard Street, animal bones
During excavations at the town walls at Orchard Street in 1987 an ashy or charcoally deposit containing pottery and bone was recorded on the west and east sides of the wall. It probably represents sporadic scattering or dumping of kitchen waste against the wall after the mid C14. The assemblage of animal bone included 2409 fragments. Cattle, sheep and goat formed the bulk of the assemblage. Wild fauna included fallow deer, hare and rabbit. 45 bird fragments were recovered including domestic fowl and goose (3 fragments had knife marks). Game birds included wood pigeon and wild mallard. Bantam and hen were represented. There were few birds aged less than 6 months suggesting that there was a dietary preference for mature birds or perhaps eggs. Like other Newcastle assemblages cattle declined in importance between C14 and C17 and sheep dominated. Some pig and horse in small numbers. A few fish bones - cod and two ling. Evidence for butchery was found on the domestic livestock. Cattle and sheep carcasses were reduced to manageable joints using cleavers and sharp knives. The cattle and sheep (prime joints) mostly derive from domestic waste rather than butchery. The carcasses may have already been prepared with the heads already removed (few cranial fragments). Phase 3.1 found evidence of butchery on a horse metatarsal and humerus fragment, which may indicate glue production. Small knife marks on several cat bones probably were the result of skinning to remove pelts.
K. Dobney and D. Jacques, 1993, 'Animal Bone' in J. Nolan et al 'The Town Wall, Newcastle upon Tyne'