Years of division among academics over whether the Romans or the Normans introduced rabbits into Britain appears to have been resolved.
An archaeological dig in Norfolk has uncovered the remains of a 2,000-year-old rabbit - by far the oldest of its kind found on these shores and regarded as final proof that the creatures are now on the list of what the Romans ever did for us.
Many believed that the Normans introduced rabbits for their meat and fur.
However, others have always insisted that the creatures were brought in by the Romans, citing Marcus Terrentius Varro (116-27BC) who wrote that the legions brought rabbits from Spain, where they were reared in walled enclosures and then served up as a gourmet dish.
The remains were found at Lynford, near Thetford.
Jayne Bown, the manager of the Norfolk Archaeological Unit, which is conducting the dig, said yesterday: "We can date the rabbit to the first or second century AD from the pottery fragments found beside it. Some of these fragments included domestic pots which could have been used for cooking.
"We could tell the bones had been butchered."
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