There’s a nasty bug going around

I think the Romans could have done with some environmental health officers; by the look at what we are finding you would not want to be eating their food. Sifting through thousands of gross bug casings and seeds that are long past their sell by date, our friendly archaeobotanist Karen has possibly come across some pesky little critters: cockroaches.

Cockroaches!

Cockroach egg cases!

Extreme close up!

Extreme close up!

Britain does have native cockroaches, however these appear to be too large to belong to one of these and so are likely to be an imported species. These were found within the clay and tile walls of our bakery. I assume you remember our circular building? It is likely these little pests came to Britain in a supply of food from somewhere warm like Africa or the Mediterranean. The climate would have been too cold for them here, so the walls of a warm dry building with a plentiful supply of food would have been perfect. Their presence has made our interpretation as a bakery oven even more plausible. All those samples did have a use after all!

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