Discovery of the Week week 26

NEWS | Published: 22.6.2009

Fish Bones and Scales

These week´s discoveries are bones, vertebrae and scales of different species of fishes found in the excavations. Bones as tiny and fragile as these can be preserved in archeological soil layers but, to find them, one has to be particularly scrutinous when excavating.

In the Middle Ages, substantially more fish was eaten than nowadays. This was caused by the fact that the Catholic Church allowed the eating of fish during Lents which occured several times a year. During the Middle Ages there were plenty of fishermen even in Turku and there was even enough fish for export. When dried and salted, the fish were preserved well and could be eaten uncooked. Lye soaking was also a medieval preservation method.