Oat as fodder on an Early Medieval site of Champagne

The site of Beine-Nauroy (51) La Noue Cochard revealed 137 beautifully preserved housepits dating to the Early Middle Ages. Twenty seven samples from different features were floated and entirely sorted for seed analysis. Three samples were particularly dense with large assemblages of carbonised cultivated oat grains (Avena sativa). These grains were mixed with cereal chaff and small weed seeds. The analysis suggests oat was used as fodder at the site rather than for human consumption. Other features, pits, delivered some mineralised remains, including grape pips. These pits probably were used as cess pits. It is interesting to note that the pits are all located on the outskirt of the settlement, to avoid disagreeable odours.