Author: Carly Hilts


Edible Archaeology: Museum of Cannock Chase YAC

This fabulous cake was made by my friend for our Young Archaeologists’ Club (YAC) branch’s first birthday. I am joint leader, along with Diane Sanders. To celebrate the milestone, we had a trip to Wroxeter Roman City, where I am also lucky enough to work, and we had a wonderful day. I gave a tour round the […]


Edible Archaeology: Staffordshire Hoard

These are the winning entries of the Great Birmingham Bake-Off, a competition run by Birmingham Museums Trust, seeking the best cakes and biscuits inspired by the Anglo-Saxon Staffordshire Hoard. After careful consideration by the hoard conservation team, six-year-old Oscar Paul, from Birmingham, was selected as the winner of the children’s category (right), while Tamra Walter, […]

St Cwyfan's The Church In The Sea

Edible Archaeology: The Church In The Sea

This year’s 3D Archaeological Society weekend away took us to Anglesey, where we visited some excellent sites including churches, castles, burial mounds, Neolithic villages – and quirky places like St Cwyfan’s, ‘The Church In The Sea’, so called because of the coastal erosion that has left it surrounded by water at high tide. This cake, […]


Edible Archaeology: Aberlemno stone

My daughter made this cake to celebrate Tom Gray receiving an honorary degree from Aberdeen University, awarded primarily for his work photographing the carved stones of Scotland and making this corpus readily available to scholars and institutions. It was also his 91st birthday! The cake shows the carved design of one of the Aberlemno stones, […]


Edible Archaeology : Fitzwalter seal matrix

I am one of the late medieval curators at the British Museum, and I made this cake for a recent staff baking competition. It is meant to be a seal impression of the early 13th century Fitzwalter seal matrix, which is normally held by the British Museum, but is currently on display in the British […]

TighCaol_ARP cake (1)

Edible Archaeology: Tigh Caol

This cake represents the remains of an 19th century drovers’ inn at Tigh Caol, Argyll. It was made for GUARD Archaeology Ltd by Sarah Bailie, to celebrate the recent publication of the findings of our community excavation there (see CA 305 for more on this project), and accurately recreates a scaled plan from this report in […]

TH Cake 1 - Dawn

Edible Archaeology: William Hill Pipe Organ

This cake, commissioned by some friends for my 65th birthday last year, is an edible replica of the renowned William Hill Pipe Organ in Birmingham’s Town Hall, which dates back to 1834 and is rated one of the world’s greatest pipe organs. Peter J Smith Birmingham This edition of edible archaeology appeared in issue 304 […]


Edible Archaeology: South Cadbury Hillfort

This cake was made by Brian Cann of the South Somerset Archaeological Research Group (Ssarg), in celebration of the long standing environs project centred around South Cadbury Hillfort. Established in the early 1990s, and inspired by Leslie Alcock’s investigations at the Iron Age site in the 1960s, the project looked at the wider landscape using […]


Edible Archaeology: Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court’s Tudor palace celebrated its 500th birthday in February, and to mark the occasion, Historic Royal Palaces commissioned this showstopping edible extravaganza fit for a king (or queen!) from cake maestros Choccywoccydoodah. Standing over 3ft high and rendered in white chocolate, the cake showcases Hampton Court’s history, with each tier taking inspiration from a […]


The Archaeology of the Olympic Park – London’s first East Enders

Preparations for the 2012 games provided a unique opportunity to investigate an area of London’s East End the size of the walled City. Nick Bateman of MOLA, Gary Brown of PCA and Pippa Bradley and Andrew Powell of Wessex Archaeology told Matthew Symonds how 121 trenches produced 10,000 finds spanning 10,000 years. This summer, images […]

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