Faunal bone assemblage

This bone could be the remains of the first turkey eaten in England.
Historical evidence suggests that the first turkeys were introduced to England in 1524 or 1526 by the entrepreneur William Strickland, who found them during a voyage to the Americas. He bought six turkeys from Native American traders, and after he sailed back with them to Bristol sold them for tuppence each.
The bones - two femurs (thigh bones) and an ulna (wing) – could be from one of these birds. They were found with Italian and Spanish pottery and Venetian glassware dating from 1500 to 1520. They were also found with the remains of a veal calf, several chickens, at least one goose and a sheep. The exotic tableware and food – some of which were very expensive at the time – suggests this was the rubbish created by people of high status.
The bones were identified by Malene Lauritsen as part of her PhD at University of Exeter.
Accession Loan No.
Collection Class
Exeter archaeology
Common Name
faunal bone assemblage
Simple Name
Full Name
turkey femur bone
Period Classification
Tudor (1500-1603); Post Medieval (1500-1750)
Family Group

bone (animal)
Collector / Excavator
Exeter Museums Archaeological Field Unit
Collection Site Name
Paul Street (1982-1985)
Collection Town
Collection County
Collection Country
United Kingdom: England
Collection Area Region
Northern Europe
Collection Continent

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