Open today: 10:00am - 5:30pm

Beef bones


At least eight casks of beef bones were recovered from the Mary Rose, although there were probably a lot more, each containing around 250 bones.

All the beef bones recovered show signs of butchery and come from several different individual cattle. Almost all the cattle bones were from the axial skeleton (spine and ribs), as well as portions of the shoulder and pelvis; no complete limb bones were recovered, although there was a kneecap and a few sections of the forelimb. It was probably sourced locally to Portsmouth and was heavily salted to preserve it.

Experimental archaeology suggests that each bone fragment would have held approximately 1lb (453g) of meat, the quantity rationed for a crew member per day.