JiscMail Logo
Email discussion lists for the UK Education and Research communities

Help for BRITARCH Archives


BRITARCH Archives

BRITARCH Archives


BRITARCH@JISCMAIL.AC.UK


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

BRITARCH Home

BRITARCH Home

BRITARCH  July 2006

BRITARCH July 2006

Options

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password

Subject:

Re: Wicks, vics and wiches

From:

Bea Hopkinson <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

British archaeology discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 23 Jul 2006 15:35:49 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (109 lines)

Andy,

     I suppose in regards to strategic settlements we have to ask 
ourselves
which came first, the chicken or the egg.  Natural resources were a source
of income and necessary to the infrastructure of any settled population,
whether it was to trade goods or make them.   No surprise then that Roman
Roads lead to such places like Cheshire and Droitwich and I am sure to 
other
resources also.

     I took a look at the web site you refer to re Middlewich and 
Nantwich put out by the "Salt Manufacturers Association"  (presumably of 
Cheshire ?) and have to comment on some of the statements made, though I 
was pleased to see  a disclaimer as to their accuracy.  These web sites 
reach a large number of interested readers and it pains me to see poorly 
researched information being so widely propagated, particularly as it is 
mixed in with more acceptable  statements of fact.

>Archaeological digs at salt making sites in Cheshire and Worcestershire have >
>produced relatively small amounts of briquetage when compared with the 
>coastal sites. 

     There are some 200 briquetage sites (when last counted) along the 
east coast, mainly in Essex and Lincolnshire but in other counties also.  
However, the concentration of briquetage at any ONE of these sites  is 
not to the best of my knowledge, larger than the briquetage deposits at 
Droitwich where these deposits are dated to the late Bronze/early Iron 
Age .  That found in Cheshire that was not extensive (that I am familiar 
with) was of Romano-British date, though the statement is made that more 
recently Iron Age briquetage has been found between Middlewich and 
Nantwich.   I'd be grateful to the list if anyone can supply a reference 
and date for that.   Much work has been done since I focussed on the 
Cheshire data and clearly in the last decade there have been many 
changes.  

> Sea water or brine from inland springs was evaporated in these vessels over 
>fires to give a residual lump of salt.

     The Briquetage vessels I am familiar with in Britain and throughout 
Europe were not used for boiling (see BH, Indo-European J. publication 
1973), though elsewhere in the world where salt is not so easy to obtain, 
jars of 'ordinary' pottery have been used to drain and dry salt in a 
process that looks much like boiling.

>     There have been extensive finds of Iron Age briquetage in the 
Lincolnshire >
>and East Anglia Fenlands and along the Essex coastline. Here the sea water 
was 
>concentrated in pottery pans 60cm wide, 120cm long , and about 12mm thick...

     This statement regarding the use of this size of pottery vessel for 
CONCENTRATING seawater is the first I've seen that correctly understands 
the process necessary for recovering salt from seawater.  But then it 
goes on:

     > and the strong brine was then evaporated in small pottery vessels 
supported      
     >on pillars to give the lump of salt which was obtained by breaking 
the vessels.

All of those vessels of briquetage found at coastal sites in England that 
I was able to document in my 1973 paper were typically draining and 
drying molds for WET SALT CRYSTALS - though I would emphasize that  other 
types of vessels may have since been found that are different.

     Re the Chinese treatise there are several spellings of its title, 
but more accurately it should be Pen-tzao-kang-mu (not Png-tzao-kan-mu).  
I know that to be the case as I examined these documents at Harvard 
University many years ago.  Then there is the "health" statement re salt 
under a web URL http://www.saltsense.co.uk/...which really pains me :)  
It says

    >Salt is essential for life and for good health.The sodium it 
contains helps      >
>maintain the fluid in your blood cells and transmit electrical impulses 
between 
>your brain, nerves and muscles. 

        It would be a good idea if formal web sites did a little original 
research to understand why salt really is important!

     We then have the misconception that salt was first recovered from 
seawater.  If it was then we would have to say that the seashores of 
every country is where man first settled.  Can we say that in 
Mesopotamia?  Or China - or Cheshire or Droitwich, or anywhere else?  The 
truth is that salt was a necessity and it was recovered in one way or 
another no matter where man chose to settle.

Bea


>Addenda:
>
>Salt history page:
>http://www.saltinfo.com/salt%20history1.htm
>
>Salt making between Middlewich and Nantwich.
>
>There does seem to be some evidence that places near where salt was 
>collected were called wics. As salt was a resource not available 
>everywhere, it would likely to have been traded on a local scale. 
>
>Note the linguistic evidence from the Latin vicus and proximity to Roman 
>roads  (Stret-ham  might have been more like the railway station in 
>Victorian terms). Hamm could (more speculatively) been the animal paddocks 
>or more likely pastures (does not seem to be an OE word for pasture ???)
>
>Andy Horton. 

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

JiscMail Tools


RSS Feeds and Sharing


Advanced Options


Archives

May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998
October 1998
September 1998
August 1998
July 1998
June 1998
May 1998


WWW.JISCMAIL.AC.UK

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager