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Edible Archaeology: Staffordshire Hoard

I was inspired to make these biscuits after seeing pictures of the latest finds from the Staffordshire Hoard (CA 276) – at first glance, with all the mud still caked on, I thought they looked like gingerbread! I’ve always enjoyed making and decorating gingerbread, and when my flatmate introduced me to ‘Edible Archaeology’, it was […]


Edible Archaeology: LiDAR Cake

Our LiDAR cake includes a plane – accurately depicted in icing – as used by the Cambridge University Unit for Landscape Modelling (as they were then), and of course lasers beaming down from the plane to the surface. The photo-icing LiDAR image is a Digital Terrain Model, modelled (by Peter Crow of Forest Research) to […]


Edible Archaeology: CWA’s 10th Anniversary

CA‘s sister-magazine Current World  Archaeology is celebrating its 10th  anniversary. To mark the occasion, I  persuaded my four girls to bake a suitably  themed birthday cake. It seemed  like a good idea, until the kitchen disappeared  beneath clouds of icing sugar  and flour, and copious quantities of  food-colouring in varying hues redecorated the floor, furniture, […]


Edible Archaeology: Knowth

This cake was commissioned by  the Office of Public Works for the  launch of the new Knowth volume,  The Archaeology of Knowth in the First  and Second Millennium AD, which  coincided with the 50th anniversary  of the first excavations at Knowth by  Professor Eogan and his team. The  ‘finds’ include a marzipan macehead and some […]


Edible Archaeology: Silchester

This is a picture of the 80th birthday cake that I made for my father, Roger Ayers.  He and my mother, Lesley, have volunteered on Reading University’s Silchester  dig every summer since 1999, living on site in their caravan. My father has dug every  year, but my mother switched to the finds hut some years […]


Edible Archaeology: Richard III

  This Richard III-themed cake was baked by distance-learning student Angela Parker  for a talk by Mathew Morris (site supervisor of the recent Grey Friars excavation)  for the Research Seminar Series of the University of Leicester’s School of Archaeology  & Ancient History. It is actually a quadruple  cake, with each quarter different in flavour:  chocolate, […]


Edible Archaeology: Ermine Street Guard Roman re-enactment society

This magnificent cake was made for the Ermine Street Guard Roman re-enactment  society by Caerleon Roman Legionary Museum to mark our 40th anniversary in  August 2012. It depicts a highly accurate copy of our shields (scuta) — I should know,  since it falls to me to paint the designs on them! Over the years we […]


Edible Archaeology: Caerwent

  I’m one of the Assistant County Archaeologists at Northumberland County Council,  and I made this cake for a friend digging at Caerwent back in the ’90s. The top layer  (top picture) shows a Roman site with a four-post structure, while below this are Iron Age  (middle picture) and Neolithic (bottom picture) layers. I made […]


Edible Archaeology: The Ancient Technology Centre in Cranborne, Dorset

This is a cake model of the Ancient Technology Centre in Cranborne, Dorset. We are  an education centre where schools and other groups can experience the ways people  might have lived in the past, and our structures are based on archaeological evidence,  reconstructed using traditional tools, skills, and methods. As you look at the photo, […]

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