THE FINDS TRAY
Since their initial discovery on site, all of the artefacts recovered during the community dig have been separated into individual categories, cleaned, labelled and then subjected to detailed analysis.
Artefact analysis can serve many purposes. Some artefacts, such as pottery and coins, are closely datable and can therefore help to date the deposits on the site and build up a chronological sequence of events. Other artefacts give an indication of social status, for example the types of pottery that poeple could afford, the jewellery and personal adornments they wore, the food that they ate and the materials used to build their houses.
We can also learn about the occupations of people living at the site from the industrial materials left behind. Such materials include kiln waste from the salt making process (briquetage), metal casting waste and mis-fired pottery.
By combining the results of the separate analyses, it is possible to build up a picture of the people who lived and worked along King Street in the Roman period.
Each category of artefact is discussed in detail in the sections on the right. Many of these have been undertaken by specialists in their particular fields. A number of the analyses were also undertaken by volunteers in Middlewich, including the briquetage, building materials, metalwork and industrial residues. As part of the analysis programme, public workshops were held with some of the specialists so that members of the community could gain a greater understanding of the purpose of this work and the methods used. A selection of photographs from these workshops can be viewed below (click images to enlarge).