West Stow is an early Anglo-Saxon settlement site located on the banks of the River Lark in eastern England, occupied between the 5th and 7th centuries A.c. An extensive series of excavations at West Stow yielded an exceptionally well-preserved vertebrate faunal assemblage of over 180,000 bones and fragments that can inform us about the animal husbandry practices of the earliest Anglo-Saxon settlers in England. Analysis of the West Stow fauna indicated that pigs played an important role in the initial Anglo-Saxon settlement of eastern England. Once the farming community had been established at West Stow, cattle and sheep increased at the expense of pigs, and beef and mutton may have replaced pork in the Anglo-Saxon diet. All other aspects of the faunal assemblage showed broad continuities with the preceding Roman andiron Age periods. The results of the West Stow study can shed light on the ways in which farming communities are established in new environments as a result of population movements and political changes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas