Friday, 29 November 2013

The Archaeology of Pies

Who ate all the pies? A question rarely put to archaeologists, which is a shame because they probably know the answer. 

Who ate all the pies? They did: each and every last one of them, the archaeologist's ate them all.

If anyone should doubt such a conclusion, they need only look at the results of Lancashire Smith's new fieldwork project in the playing fields of Beanotown School as premiered on the TV channel CBBC last night. 

Work in the playing field, apparently an “Area of Outstanding Scientific Interest” (so I have no idea how permission was granted for the school building in the first place, let alone the subsequent archaeological investigation), revealed a well preserved body of a warrior complete with the remains of a ‘Bronze Age Pie’ 

The pie was a truly amazing find: a heritage asset the like of which has never before been seen (and something which, once probed, studied, tested and analysed, would undoubtedly have changed our perception of the prehistoric past, not only of Beanotown, but also northern Europe). Within seconds of being discovered, however, the Bronze Age pie had been devoured, with no attempt to record said meat-filled pastry for posterity (as this CCTV footage of the archaeological fieldworker in question amply demonstrates):

Positively shocking.

I do hope that this appalling act of pie-based-vandalism will not be repeated and I am writing to Lancashire Smith's university department to express my outrage. 

Now what's for lunch?


  1. I once devoured a fruit cake, the outside was a little burnt, the inside was a tasty if a little dry, I was informed that the cake was quite ancient - something about King Alfred, I can't quite remember the full detail.

    I was led to believe that a scientific sampling and analysis strategy had been drawn up for this cake at the Research Laboratory for Archaeology & the History of Art (Oxford) but the researcher doing the work considered the strategy to be too unpalatable due to the burnt nature of the cake.

    1. Cakes are, I think, a better resource to study (and, truth be told, there is probably far more evidence of cake consumption by archaeologists than pies). In fact I think I'd better head off to the canteen now to start my research...

    2. Careful now...mentioning archaeologists and fruitcake in the same posting!