Frog’s leg found at Mesolithic dig serves up a culinary dilemma for Anglo-French relations


The earliest evidence of a cooked toad or frog leg found in the worldFrogs’ legs have long been considered to be the preserve of the French but a startling new discovery at an archaeological dig has revealed that they were in fact an English delicacy first.

Archaeologists at Amesbury, Wiltshire, have been stunned to find evidence of life in the Eighth Millennium BC. Among the finds at the site, known as Blick Mead, and so far dating back to the ice age, is the burnt humerus of a toad.

The charred toad’s leg bone was found alongside small fish vertebrae bones of trout or salmon and burnt aurochs bones (the predecessor of cows). The finds date back to between 6250BC and 7596BC making this discovery the earliest evidence of a cooked toad or frog leg found in the world and around eight millennia before the French. This means that frogs’ legs, long considered the preserve of the French were actually an English delicacy first in a settlement just over a mile from Stonehenge.

David Jacques, Senior Research Fellow in Archaeology at the University of Buckingham, which is funding a new dig on the site, said: “It would appear that thousands of years ago people were eating a Heston Blumenthal-style menu on this site, one and a quarter miles from Stonehenge, consisting of toads’ legs, aurochs, wild boar and red deer with hazelnuts for main, another course of salmon and trout and finishing off with blackberries.”

David is hoping that the University of Buckingham dig will help to confirm Amesbury as the oldest continuous settlement in the UK.

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