Category: ExcavationFindsMedievalCoastalCommercialTeam Insights
Things have gotten a bit fishy at our excavations at Berwick Infrimary as we have recently found an awful lot of fish bones. The majority of these have been found in soil samples taken from the site and identified by our eagle-eyed post-excavation team, although some larger examples were recovered during hand-excavation.
This is definitely the right plaice to finds such remains, as Berwick-upon-Tweed had a rich and well-established fishing industry during the medieval period, inhabiting an ideal position with access both to the coast and the River Tweed, famous for, amongst other things, the quality of its salmon fishing. Berwick was in many ways the sole of trade in the North. The city was part of the Hanseatic League – a commercial confederation of towns and cities in Northern Europe that existed throughout the medieval period – and as such was exporting fish to cities all over the continent.
The fish remains we have recovered will not only tell us more about the industry that existed around Berwick during the medieval period, but will also give us a better idea of marine habitats and local subsistence patterns. As you can see, we have found some large verterbrae and we are looking forward to sending the assemblage to our fish bone specialist to find out exactly what species we have recovered. Stay tuna’d!