10 Cakes Every Archaeologist Will Want to Stick Their Trowel Into

Death (and burial) by chocolate

Death (and burial) by chocolate, by A.J. BAILEY (via Heritage Jam)

We love the past. We love cake. But can we have both? Well, these delightful creations just go to show… we greedy archaeologists really can have archaic and eat it too!

Here’s 10 of the best, most delicious archaeology cakes we’ve ever had the pleasure of digging into. So c’mon, get stuck in! Just make sure you section them carefully… after all, who needs a cake slice when a trowel will do?

1. The Stratigraphy cake

stratigraphy cake

This cake was made for phosphate-analysis specialist Dr Johanna Ullrich. On top there’s an Ogham stone, a grey box marked ‘phosphate analysis’, and the blue book is Renfrew and Bahn’s Archaeology: theories, methods and practice. (via archaeology.co.uk)

2. The Spoil Heap cake

Spoil Heap Cake 2

Talk about being spoiled on your birthday! Made for DigVentures own Brendon Wilkins, this one’s got to be one of the most creative deconstructions of the concept “archaeology cake”. All kinds of chocolate all just chucked into one big spoil heap.  No need to sieve this one!

3.The Iron Age Roundhouse cake

Iron Age Roundhouse Cake

Rebekah Hart, we salute you! Not so much one for the Great British Bake Off as an installment of Carry On Baking, this valiant effort was featured in issue 260 of Current Archaeology. Representing an Iron Age roundhouse, we’re sure it tastes delicious. (via Current Archaeology)

4. The Flag Fen Causeway cake

What better way to celebrate International Bog Day (27th July) than with a cake the shape of one of Flag Fen’s bog-straddling timber causeways? All you need is some chocolate fingers for the wooden uprights, more chocolate fingers for the planks and some super squidgy chocolate to set it all in. This one was made by the DigVentures crew while on site at Flag Fen. Frankly, we think this is probably the most deserving date in the calendar.

5. The Indiana Jones cake

Indiana Jones cake

It belongs in a museum. Natch. (via Green Jello).

6. The Stonehenge cake


Hands off druids! This one’s ours!

7. The Acropolis cake

Now we’re getting fancy! This one was made for superstar classicist Mary Beard on her birthday this year. Have to admit though, if we came across this one in real life we’d find it hard to resist going all Elgin on it and just helping ourselves. Those pediments do look ever so tasty!

8. The Neolithic Burial cake

barrow cake

Oh yum! Made by Niamh Kelly for the 50th anniversary of the first excavations at Knowth by Professor Eogan, this one represents one of the neolithic passage tombs estimated to date from 2500 to 2000 BCE (the mounds, that is, not the cake). (via worldirish.com)

9. The Great Wall of China cake

Great wall of china

One of the entrants at the Nilgiris Cake Exhibition in 2008, which also featured a person-sized reconstruction of Petra made entirely of sponge. We can’t help but think things are just starting to get a bit silly…

10. The One-For-A-Real-Taste-of-the-Past cake


Last, but by no means least, how could we leave you without a cake cooked according to an actual ancient recipe? You can search them out online, but this Roman Sweet Cake with rosemary and grapes is a particular fave. De gustibus non est disputandum.

If you’ve got some archaeology cake ideas, or can point us to a great ancient recipe, leave your suggestions in the comments!

Love archaeology?

DigVentures crowdfunds archaeological projects that everyone can be part of, in the UK and overseas. With help from people all over the world, we investigate the past and publish our discoveries online for free. Become a DigVentures Subscriber and be part of great archaeology - all year round!


Written by Maiya Pina-Dacier

Head of Community at DigVentures, Maiya digs with a trowel in one hand, and a Twitter feed in the other. She reports on all our discoveries live from the trenches, and keeps our Site Hut full of the latest archaeology news. Got a story? Just drop her a line...

Read more from Maiya Pina-Dacier +

Get Dig Mail

Keep up with the latest fun, facts & features from the world of archaeology.

Easy opt-out at any time - Privacy Policy

Archaeology / In Your Hands

Courses for anyone who wants to learn more about archaeology, and have fun while they're doing it!

Archaeology Courses

Our fab archaeology merch: dig team tee-shirts, Tatty Devine jewellery range, tote bags, and more!

Archaeology Shop