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London Gateway: Iron Age and Roman salt making in the Thames Estuary. Excavation at Stanford Wharf Nature Reserve, Essex.

Biddulph, Edward and Foreman, Stuart and Stafford, Elizabeth and Stansbie, Daniel and Nicholson, Rebecca London Gateway: Iron Age and Roman salt making in the Thames Estuary. Excavation at Stanford Wharf Nature Reserve, Essex. [Client Report]

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London_Gateway_OA Monograph_18.pdf

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1.Earlier prehistoric pottery.pdf

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2.Middle Iron Age and Roman pottery.pdf

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3.Post Roman pottery.pdf

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4.Coins.pdf

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5.Metal finds.pdf

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6.Slag and high temperature debris.pdf

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7.Glass.pdf

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8.Briquetage and fired clay.pdf

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9.Ceramic Building Material.pdf

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10.Worked stone.pdf

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11.Worked flint.pdf

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12.Cremated human remains.pdf

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13.Leather.pdf

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14.Woodwork.pdf

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15.Animal bone.pdf

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16.Fish remains.pdf

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17.Marine shell.pdf

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18.Insect remains.pdf

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19.Plant macrofossils.pdf

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20.Wood charcoal.pdf

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21.Diatoms.pdf

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22.Microfauna.pdf

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23.Pollen.pdf

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24.Soil micromorphology and chemistry.pdf

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25.Post excavation assessment volume 2.pdf

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26.Radiocarbon and OSL dating_List of dates.pdf

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Abstract

Excavation by Oxford Archaeology in 2009 during construction of the Stanford Wharf Nature Reserve, funded and supported by the developer, DP World London Gateway, uncovered remarkable evidence for Iron Age and Roman-period salt making. The excavations shed new and important light on evolving methods of salt production, which undoubtedly reflect wider changes in economy and society in the Thames Estuary between c 400BC and c 400AD. Salt had a particular economic importance in the ancient world as a food preservative; changing scales and methods of production provide an essential background for understanding processes such as urbanisation, civilian trade and military supply. It also had a wide range of dietary, social and symbolic functions, from food flavouring, to an ingredient in medicines and religious rituals. In the words of the Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder, writing in the 1st century AD, 'civilised life cannot proceed without salt'. In the middle Iron Age, from c 400BC – 100BC the site was dominated by 'red hills', a characteristic feature of ancient salt production on the Essex coast. Following a late Iron Age hiatus, salt making resumed in the early Roman period (c AD 43-120). During this period a piled wooden structure, probably a boathouse, was built facing onto a tidal channel. The 3rd and 4th centuries AD saw the level of salt production intensify to an almost industrial scale. Some salterns of this period were open air while the later ones were inside a variety of buildings. In some respects late Roman production methods were similar to the earlier periods but significant innovations were introduced, including lead evaporation pans and the use of wood charcoal, rather than marshland plants, as fuel. The range of activities diversified to include the on-site production of salted meat and fish sauce, and there are indications of relatively high status domestic life, notably the remains of exotic fruit and seeds. The specialist finds and environmental reports available to download here support the findings presented in the printed volume, an integrated report which draws on the results of the specialist, scientific and stratigraphic analyses. Overall, the large scale of fieldwork and extensive analysis of the remains have transformed our understanding of the important Iron Age and Roman salt making industry in Essex. The specialist reports provided in support of the publication, London Gateway: Iron Age and Roman salt making in the Thames Estuary, which is also available for download here, are: 1. Earlier prehistoric pottery by David Mullin and Lisa Brown 2. Iron Age and Roman pottery by Edward Biddulph and Dan Stansbie, with a contribution by Alice Lyons 3. Post-Roman pottery by John Cotter 4. Coins by Paul Booth 5. Metal finds by Ian Scott 6. Slag and high-temperature debris by Lynne Keys 7. Glass by Ian Scott 8. Briquetage and fired clay by Cynthia Poole 9. Ceramic building material by Ruth Shaffrey 10. Worked stone by Ruth Shaffrey 11. Worked flint by Hugo Anderson-Whymark 12. Cremated human bone by Helen Webb 13. Leather by Quita Mould 14. Woodwork by Damian Goodburn 15. Animal bone by Lena Strid 16. Fish remains by Rebecca Nicholson 17. Marine shell by Rebecca Nicholson 18. Insect remains by Enid Allison 19. Plant macrofossils by Kath Hunter 20. Wood charcoal by Denise Druce 21. Diatoms by Nigel Cameron 22. Microfauna by John E Whittaker 23. Pollen by Sylvia M Peglar 24. Soil micromorphology and microchemistry, chemistry and magnetic susceptibility, and FTIR by Richard Macphail, John Crowther and Francesco Berna 25. Stanford Wharf Nature Reserve, London Gateway, Stanford-le-Hope, Essex. Post- excavation assessment. Volume 2: Artefactual, geoarchaeological and palaeoenvironmental appendices edited by Edward Biddulph 26. Radiocarbon and OSL dating: list of dates

Item Type:Client Report
Subjects:Geographical Areas > English Counties > Essex
Period > UK Periods > Iron Age 800 BC - 43 AD > Late Iron Age 100 BC - 43 AD
Period > UK Periods > Iron Age 800 BC - 43 AD > Middle Iron Age 400 - 100 BC
Period > UK Periods > Roman 43 - 410 AD
ID Code:909
Deposited By: Scott
Deposited On:11 Sep 2012 09:05
Last Modified:10 Dec 2012 15:35

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