Journal of Archaeology in the Low Countries 1-2 (November 2009)Liesbeth Troubleyn; Frank Kinnaer; Anton Ervynck; Luk Beeckmans; Danielle Caluwé; Brigitte Cooremans; Frans De Buyser; Koen Deforce; Konjev Desender; An Lentacker; Jan Moens; Gaston Van Bulck; Maarten Van Dijck; Wim Van Neer; Werner Wouters: Consumption patterns and living conditions inside Het Steen, the late medieval prison of Malines (Mechelen, Belgium)
5 The small finds

Molluscs and crustaceans

All mollusc remains are shell fragments from marine species: periwinkles (Littorina littorea), cockles (Cerastoderma edule) and (most frequently) mussels (Mytilus edulis). Remarkably, shells from freshwater or terrestrial molluscs are lacking, possibly because of the poor preservation conditions. The small size of the cockles is striking, suggesting that they came to the site together with lumps of mussels, rather than as a separate food item.

Crustaceans are represented by a small number of skeletal fragments from the common shore crab (Carcinus maenas) and the common shrimp (Crangon crangon), two marine species. Both may either have been consumed, or accidentally have been brought in with other sea food. The barnacles (Cirripedia sp.) must have ended up in the pits together with the mussel shells to which they typically live attached.

Two other crustacean taxa are present: the woodlice (Isopoda sp.) and the common pill bug (Armadillidium vulgare). These animals live in dark, wet places and can often be found in the lower part of buildings.