Monastery diet revealed by Durham Cathedral excavation

Archaeologists working on an excavation of a portion of Durham Cathedral, destined to become an exhibition space for the relics of St. Cuthbert, have unearthed over 20,000 animal bones and a "massive amount" of food waste. The site was once part of the monastery's 14th century kitchen. (photos)

The dig has given "rare insight" into the diet of residents of the monastery. "[The monks] ate just about everything," said archaeologist Norman Emery. "There's records of them eating domestic and wild birds from surrounding estuaries, to migratory birds and birds from the coast including puffins from the Farnes on rare occasions."