Foil ration packets must be one of the most frequent find types I’ve encountered in my fieldwork. From gel drink packets to cereal bar wrappers,  MOD branded ready boil in a bag meals to Mars Bars and Haribo, these little parcels are almost everywhere. 

It makes sense – folks gotta eat after all. But I think this type of find can tell me more than simply “sometime, somewhere, someone ate something”.


When recording I distinguish when possible between a windblown food wrapper and an in situ one. Windblown is easy… caught up against a fence, in a snarl of grass, looking like it won’t be there much longer. In situ is also easy… soldiers are supposed to take their rubbish away with them, but some prefer to deposit the packaging somewhere out of sight where it won’t blow away. 
It is often easy to tell when something has been deliberately put somewhere.  It might be folded,  rolled, squashed into place; for example, rolled up and tucked into the gap between two stones in a machine gun emplacement formed from the surface stones of the Bronze Age cairn.

Today’s photo is probably of a deliberately placed bit of after-dinner debris. It was neatly folded into thirds and placed near the back of one such gun emplacement in the ‘beacon’ cairn. Another similar wrapper was rolled up and tucked in between the stones. 

I thought it was picture-worthy because it’s the first wrapped I’ve seen with a hand-written label.