It wasn’t a buried cache of gold or silver that excavators came across as they methodically dug down through the remains of one of Scotland’s most ancient archaeological sites. But in a very important sense, the discovery was equally exciting.
They were the skeletal remains of an animal—a very, very big one. And a very old one.
"It is so big that there was an immediate need for an expert opinion," reported the Dig Diary blogger for the Ness of Brodgar Excavations project.
So they called upon Jen Harland, an expert at identifying faunal remains.
"She has confirmed that the bones belong to an enormous cow—so big indeed that it is probably off the scale for the biggest known modern cow and into the range for an aurochs." Read more.
Archaeologists excavating an Anglo-Saxon cemetery in Cambridgeshire say the discovery of a woman buried with a cow is a “genuinely bizarre” find.
The grave was uncovered in Oakington by students from Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Central Lancashire.
At first it was thought the animal skeleton was a horse.
Student Jake Nuttall said: “Male warriors might be buried with horses, but a woman and a cow is new to us.”
He added: “We were excited when we thought we had a horse, but realising it was a cow made it even more bizarre.” Read more.