Eleni Thyri, Bournemouth University
Chickens in human burials: investigating the deposition of domestic fowl in burials of the Late Iron Age and the Roman period in Southern Britain
This project focuses on graves where individual bones or partial or complete skeletons of domestic fowl have been found in close association with human remains. The research aims to develop our knowledge and understanding of how chickens were viewed in the societies involved and to evaluate the significance of their deposition within burials. This will be possible through determining their frequency of occurrence in association with different burial rites (e.g. inhumations and cremations) and the examination of the osteoarchaeological data (including the age and sex of both human and bird remains), the location of the chicken remains within the graves and their association with bones of other species and other grave goods. Variations of these aspects will be highlighted as well as any chronological and regional patterns. Amongst other places, the research will examine evidence from late prehistoric and Roman cemeteries in London, Winchester, St Albans and Dorchester.