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Feasting on fore-limbs: conspicuous consumption and identity in later prehistoric Britain

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2015

Richard Madgwick
School of History, Archaeology and Religion, Cardiff University, John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff CF10 3EU, UK (Email:
Jacqui Mulville
School of History, Archaeology and Religion, Cardiff University, John Percival Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff CF10 3EU, UK (Email:


The discovery in Llanmaes, South Wales, of a large midden dating from the Early Iron Age provided an opportunity to deepen our understanding of feasting in late prehistoric Britain. But the dominance of right fore-limbs of pigs in the faunal assemblage has raised questions about the social processes represented by this activity. The evidence suggests a move away from conspicuous consumption by an Early Iron Age elite towards a more community-focused event designed to galvanise social relations at a time when the breakdown of bronze exchange networks was challenging the social order.

Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd, 2015 

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