Buck-eyes, food consumption and procurement, and the Mesolithic boy

Denham, Sean

Researcher and field archaeologist Sean Denham from the Museum of Archaeology at the University of Stavanger talks with us today about his past and current research. Dr. Denham is a zooarchaeologist and now a human osteologist trained in the research of analyzing animal and human bones from archaeological sites. We talk about some interesting food practices he’s observed from his work as well as his current fascinating study of human skeletal remains from the Mesolithic and curious results they are finding. Sean also provides us with a great recipe for Buck-eyes!


Excavating a well at Sverresborg in Trondheim. According to King Sverre’s Saga a body was thrown in to the well during a siege in the 12th century
Dr. Sean Denham “in-action” working with the mesolithic boy from Norway.



1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup butter

1 tsp vanilla

4 cups confectioner’s sugar (sifted if possible, but not necessary)

6 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 Tbsp shortening

1. Cream peanut butter, butter, vanilla

2. Add 3 cups of confectioner’s sugar, 1 cup at a time.

4. Add the 4th cup slowly, monitoring how sticky the whole thing is getting (too much sugar and it will end up dry and crumbly).

5. Refrigerate (at least 30 min)

6. Roll approx. 1 Tbsp at a time into balls, place on cookie sheet (you may want to line this with wax or parchment paper if you have it).

7. Freeze for 15 min or refrigerate for 30min-1 hour

8. Melt chocolate and shortening either gently in microwave or double boiler

9. Using a toothpick, dip each peanut butter ball into the chocolate, leaving the top of the peanut ball exposed. Place back on cookie sheet.

10. Refrigerate or freeze for another 15 minutes.

It’s best to keep them refrigerated, mostly so that the peanut butter and chocolate don’t get too soft.

Buck-eyes! (Image from Seasonlycreations.com)

Check out this episode!