Rabbits. You either love them or you hate them, and archaeologists definitely hate them, and with good reason. They’re no fluffy-wuffy, bouncyboo Easter-Egg deliverers; they’re archaeology-destroying, foundation-threatening hopnuts who probably want to skin you alive… and we have the evidence.
During our excavations at Leiston Abbey in 2015, they drove us hopping mad. As we dug down into one of the trenches, it became increasingly clear that bunnies were burrowing close to the abbey walls, not only threatening the building’s foundations, but also mucking up the archaeology through a process known as ‘bioturbation’. The whole issue was compounded by daily sightings of a white rabbit around the site, that nobody could quite manage to capture on camera. Was it taunting us? Or were we going mad as march hares? As it turns out, the people who lived at Leiston Abbey in the Middle Ages would no doubt have agreed; rabbits are evil, for scattered throughout medieval manuscripts they’ve left us a very clear warning: BEWARE THE BUNNIES! Here are 7 of the most disturbing cases we could find:
1. It all begins with a friendly jousting match
2. But things quickly get ugly as this rabbit threatens this pitiful-looking man with an axe…
3. These massive rabbit thugs hold a man captive
4. Meanwhile this rabbit takes a man’s head off
5. This rabbit has cold eyes of pure evil as he ignores pleas for mercy
6. We can see their chilling stares as the rabbits skin their prey
7. Before they finally decide to destroy the archaeology at Leiston Abbey…
Clearly, the destructive and malevolent nature of rabbits has been recognised since the Middle Ages, and malevolent long-eared rodents are still with us today. Just think about it – The March Hare, The Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog, The rabbits of Watership Down, Frank from Donnie Darko, let alone the bothersome bunnies burrowing through the refectory at Leiston Abbey.
Rabbits destroy archaeology. Rabbits are evil.
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