The birds were the raven, crow, buzzard, and starling.
An incredible find last night. I was looking through the 1844 Geology of Weymouth book and it mentions, in a footnote, the recent discovery of the Roman temple at Jordan Hill in Weymouth, England. I had wandered up to Jordan Hill in March so I followed the “link” (which was simply a reference to “the November proceedings of the Ashmolean Society”) and sure enough, found it on Google Books.
This is such a good one. Will probably become one of the twelve books. It fits in perfectly with the theme of larger structures and the retrieval of less visible histories.
“(A)bove these ashes was a double layer of stone tiles, arranged in pairs, and between each pair was the skeleton of one bird, with one small Roman coin: above the upper tier of tiles was another bed of ashes. Similar beds of ashes, alternating with double tiers of tiles, (each pair of which inclosed the skeleton of one bird, with one copper coin,) were repeated 16 times between the top and bottom of the well: and half way down was a cist containing an iron sword and spear-head, and urns like those in the cist at the bottom of the well. The birds were the raven, crow, buzzard, and starling. There were also bones of a hare.”
A Dr. Buckland suggests “that this building may have been a temple of Esculapius [Asclepius, god of medicine and healing], which received the votive offerings of the Roman families and invalids who visited Weymouth for sea-bathing and for health.” Bones of young bulls were also found nearby.