>I wonder if the location of these recent sites between Middlewich and
>Nantwich were found during the ecxcavations of the Gas Pipeline in 2002 (
>foot and mouth was at its height). If so then I would guess contacting
>Network Archaeology ( who were based in Lincoln) as they carried out this
>excavation work. I do remember that we discovered 3 Romano British round
>houses and there was a possible marching camp but I don't remember any talk
Sounds then that if briquetage was found there that it would be
like the briquetage sites identified previously in this
area.Economically exploitable salt resources are usually well known in
antiquity, though occasionally you get some surface springs that
individuals think they can exploit to their benefit, until they find out
otherwise. There was one exploited 12 miles outside Droitwich until a
geologist secretly visited and tested the brine and the owner was told he
couldn't compete with the brine at Droitwich.
> I do remember the soil there reacting with my skin to the point it
>burnt and I looked like my hands had been roasted in the oven.
I don't know where this idea that sodium chloride salt burns the
skin comes from! Salt IS abrasive - it does NOT burn! Is it possible
there was some sort of acidity present?
>The last thing I remember was some "experts " coming to the site and
comparing it to
>the finds discovered during the Manchester Airport excavations.
Thanks for sharing the above with me Rob,
>> I suppose in regards to strategic settlements we have to ask
>> 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
>> 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
>>>produced relatively small amounts of briquetage when compared with the
>> 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
>>> Sea water or brine from inland springs was evaporated in these vessels
>>>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
>>>concentrated in pottery pans 60cm wide, 120cm long , and about 12mm
>> 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
>> >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
>>>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.
>>>Salt history page:
>>>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 ???)
>> No virus found in this incoming message.
>> Checked by AVG Free Edition.
>> Version: 7.1.394 / Virus Database: 268.10.3/395 - Release Date: 21/07/2006