Due to the generosity of a BAA travel award, I was able to study some of the faunal remains, excavated at Oakington, Cambridgeshire, East Anglia. This Anglo-Saxon cemetery and settlement site revealed a young female buried with an almost complete cow. The discovery of a human and full cattle inhumation is currently unique in Western Europe. Additionally, although not closely associated with human graves, two large articulated ponies were found at the cemetery. One of the ponies was interned without its head, while the other was complete.
These specimens are stored at The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), Preston, and are not yet the subject of published works. Professor Duncan Sayer and several of the archaeology department PhD students made me feel very welcome. Their positivity was really encouraging. I undertook the necessary analyses to write zoo-osteobiographies for the three animals.
While at UCLan I discovered that a further 3000+ animal bones and fragments, from Oakington, are curated there. Therefore, I have extended my MSc dissertation plan and scope, to also include a full zooarchaeological site report. I plan, in future, to visit UCLan at least three more times, which I am looking forward to immensely.
The BAA travel grant has opened new and increased possibilities for me to learn from this exciting and unique material. It has aided the transformation of a simple idea into a far more complex one, that will hopefully increase understanding of the Oakington faunal remains, within the context of other Anglo-Saxon sites, both for myself and the science of zooarchaeology.
I wish to extend my sincere thanks to the British Archaeological Association for this opportunity.