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Title: Hens, Health and Husbandry: Integrated Approaches to Past Poultry-keeping in England
Authors: Fothergill, B. Tyr
Best, Julia
Foster, Alison
Demarchi, Beatrice
First Published: 23-Aug-2017
Publisher: Ubiquity Press
Citation: Open Quaternary, 2017, 3(1), p.5.
Abstract: This paper sheds new light on aspects of Roman and Anglo-Saxon chicken (Gallus gallus) husbandry and health through integrating analyses of chicken skeletal remains and eggshell from five archaeological sites in England (Fishbourne Roman Palace, Flixborough, Lyminge, Princesshay, and Uley). In addition to standardised archaeozoological study, over 10,400 chicken elements from these sites were subjected to palaeopathological and metrical analyses to clarify the relationship between husbandry methods and signs of disease and injury. Radiographic examination contributed to differential diagnosis of lesions and identification of medullary bone in complete appendicular elements. Eggshell examination was conducted on material from Flixborough using Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry and Scanning Electron Microscopy to identify species and developmental stage. Combined, these techniques demonstrate previously-unknown patterns of egg production and consumption. By integrating these approaches, our results reveal previously unconsidered aspects of chicken husbandry and illuminate the broader value and social impact of past chicken-human relationships from the first millennium AD.
DOI Link: 10.5334/oq.34
eISSN: 2055-298X
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2017. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Archaeology and Ancient History

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