Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

The Domesday Diet

The latest research on diet and nutrition at the time of the Norman Conquest is summarised in an article on HeritageDaily and has used material from excavations in Oxford, including the castle. Modern scientific analysis of human and animal bones has yielded details of what was the diet of the people recorded in Domesday and the years following.

The results are interesting because they are not surprising. That is they pick up particular fluctuations - the Anglo Saxon Chronicle is replete with references to years that were the worst in memory in the 1070s and 1080s - yet show a society that basically could feed itself and was not showing malnutrition in conditions such as rickets. One change seems to be a greater consumption of pork, and maybe an increase in urban pig-keeping.

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