Early Stonehenge Menu: Roasted Toad

Archeologists find clues about diet in earlier site about a mile away

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 16, 2013 3:39 PM CDT

(Newser) – Frog legs may be a delicacy in France, but early Brits apparently came up with the idea first: An archeological dig about a mile from Stonehenge has turned up a cooked leg bone from a toad, reports the AP. "We ate frogs legs before the French," trumpets the headline in the Bath Chronicle. The discovery is from a site called Blick Mead in the town of Amesbury and dates back to between 7596BC and 6250BC. But the find is about more than culinary bragging rights, say the researchers from the University of Buckingham.

It adds further evidence to the theory that this particular site was in continuous use for about 3,000 years, which would make it the longest such span in the UK, reports the Guardian. The locals were apparently eating not just frogs but wild boar, aurochs (early cows), deer, and nuts. Stonehenge didn't come along for another 5,000 years, and this site might help explain its placement. "No one would have built Stonehenge without there being something unique and really special about the area," says an Amesbury museum official. "There must have been something significant here beforehand, and Blick Mead, with its constant temperature spring sitting alongside the River Avon, may well be it."

In this photo provided by the University of Buckingham, researchers examine artifacts from the archaeological site.
In this photo provided by the University of Buckingham, researchers examine artifacts from the archaeological site.   (AP Photo/Justine Kibler)
The sun rises at Stonehenge in this file photo.
The sun rises at Stonehenge in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
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