In the course of an excavation outside the Roman and Medieval town walls of Leicester in 1993/4 three deposits of particular interest in terms of their environmental archaeological aspects were uncovered. In one pit the feet of twenty-eight sheep had been deposited in a single event. These are interpreted as the waste of a whittawyer or tawyer. Extensive sampling of the pit deposits enabled the recovery of small bones of the carpus and tarsus, providing evidence of the disarticulation points of the feet during skinning. Two later pits contained the skeletons of four pigs aged between three months and two years, possibly victims of an epidemic. The remains of birds and amphibians in the fills of these pits indicates that all the pigs were buried in early spring.
Medieval sheep, Tawyers’ waste, Post-Medieval pigs, Leicester, England