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Dredged Up from the Past - Issue 13 - Archaeology Finds Reporting Service Newsletter

Dredged Up from the Past - Issue 13 - Archaeology Finds Reporting Service Newsletter

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Published by Wessex Archaeology
Dredged Up is back for issue 13. The 2012–2013 reporting year has just finished and it has been another incredibly successful year for the marine aggregates Protocol, with 52 new reports raised, detailing over 160 separate finds.
Dredged Up is back for issue 13. The 2012–2013 reporting year has just finished and it has been another incredibly successful year for the marine aggregates Protocol, with 52 new reports raised, detailing over 160 separate finds.

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Published by: Wessex Archaeology on Nov 08, 2013
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Protocol Update
Dredged Up is back for issue 13.The 2012–2013 reporting year has justfinished and it has been another incrediblysuccessful year for the marine aggregatesProtocol, with 52 new reports raised,detailing over 160 separate finds.The marine aggregates Protocol continuesto be held up as an example of effectivearchaeological mitigation-in-action byarchaeologists, heritage professionals,developers, curators and marine stewardsalike. It has sparked the creation of twoother industry related reporting protocolsand undoubtedly more will follow.In this issue – The Crown Estate join usto talk about how they are supporting theProtocol through the marine stewardshipfund, we review finds from the past sixmonths and talk about how you can getmore involved with archaeology andheritage this winter.
Since the last issue of Dredged Up (Spring 2013) Wessex Archaeology has conductedfour awareness visits and we are looking to book more before the end of the year.If you would like a visit please contact us using the details below.
protocol@wessexarch.co.uk 01722 326 867
or call
Dredged Up
from the past
Autumn 2013
Issue 13Archaeology Finds Reporting Service Newsletter
CEMEX Southampton
To contact the Protocol team at Wessex Archaeology:
Brett Cliffe Wharf 
Many wharves are busy - fantastic newsafter several economically difficultyears. Taking time out for archaeologicalawareness training under thesecircumstances is understandablydifficult. Wessex Archaeology is keento support wharves and vessels howeverwe are able – if it is not feasible for usto visit, we can send you an informationpack containing material to help youidentify, protect and reportarchaeological finds amongst dredgedloads. We are also happy to give adviceor deliver presentations over the phone,via email or on Skype to fit in with youroperational circumstances.
Finds from 2012-2013
Lafarge Tarmac: paving slab
A varied array of finds is reported throughthe Protocol - from maritime material toaircraft, and domestic debris to prehistoricmammoth remains. Some of the reportedfinds are 50 years old, some more than50,000 years old, and each new discoveryis met with anticipation and excitement.Here is a selection of finds reported duringthe past six months.This cast iron find looks like a finial – eitherfor railings, or possibly more likely, for a bedpost. The gently curving pattern and roundedtop suggest the softer setting of a bedroom,rather than railings which are pointed todeter trespassers. This find, discovered atLafarge Tarmac’s Burnley wharf, is thoughtto be part of a spread of post-war domesticrubble which lies in the south coast region(see page 4). Iron railings were removedfrom public places, such as parks, duringthe Second World War as part of a drive toincrease the availability of scrap metal formilitary vehicles and munitions. This was ahuge public relations exercise and everyonewas encouraged to donate scrap to help thewar effort. Reports suggest however thatfactories were ill equipped to process thedonated metal resulting in some of itallegedly being dumped at sea.This broken paving slab, found at LafargeTarmac’s Bedhampton wharf, is thought todate to the early twentieth-century. Oneside is striated with tool marks from whenthe stone, which is Purbeck limestone,was sawn into sections for use. The otherside, the smooth side, would have formeda street or path. A patina on this surfaceshows where the slab has borne the weightof potentially thousands of footsteps – apoignant reminder of people who may nolonger be with us going about their lives inthe recent past. It was dredged from area127 to the west of the Isle of Wight whichhas recently yielded a number of findsmore likely to have originated in aterrestrial context.Cutlery is commonly reported through theProtocol. Most cutlery finds are thought tobe lost from a vessel, though there is thepotential for them to be the first indicatorof an uncharted wreck. Alan Harrison whoworks for the Stainless Steel Advisory Serviceon behalf of the British Stainless SteelAssociation has been a huge help inidentifying some of the cutlery reportedthis year. His knowledge of different steelshas allowed identification of two knivesfound off of the south coast. Tarmac_0445bears the mark ‘INOX’ which Alan tells us isnot used in the UK, revealing that this knifewas made somewhere in Continental Europe.Tarmac_0466 is of a lower cost constructionbeing made of, Alan suspects, magneticferritic grade steel. Both knives weredredged from area 127 on the south coastand reported by Burnley wharf.
5 cm5 cm
Lafarge Tarmac: cast iron finialTarmac_0445Tarmac_0466
Hanson: metal weights (sinker left, sounding lead right)
5 cm5 cm
Lafarge Tarmac et weights or ‘hag stones’: n
1 cm1 cm
Two metal weights were found by the, one from area 240 on the eastcoast and the other from area 473 in theEast English Channel. The weight from theeast coast is thought to be a sinker – as in‘hook, line and sinker’ – and is a lead weightused to sink a fishing line to the bottom of the sea or riverbed. The weight from area473 is a sounding lead – used to gauge thedepth of water below a ship. These wereused in various forms for around 2,000 yearsuntil the invention of more moderntechnologies for depth sounding.Conversely, CEMEXs reportedthe discovery of a fishing float from area 319on the east coast. Found with a smallassemblage of other finds (including animalbone and fossilised teeth) this cork floatwould have been attached to the top of fishing nets to keep them hanging uprightin the water column. This example has avertical slit through the side of the find,showing where the broken float has becomedetached from the net to end up adriftin the sea.
 Arco ArunSand Fulmar 
The 2012-2013 reporting year has seen thediscovery of four net or line weights and onefishing float.Jamie Wallis, at Greenwich wharf,discovered these two perforated stones.Spotting these amongst dredged aggregateshows a real dedication to our heritage andvery keen eyes. These are made of flint, asedimentary rock which forms in gaps withinthe matrix of another rock, such as chalk.The holes seen here were created naturallywhen the stones formed millions of yearsago, but at some stage in the past someonehas utilised this natural feature to turn theminto line or net weights. Though neitherstone is especially heavy on its own, eachweighs enough to sink a fishing line or toweight the edge of a net alongside otherstones. It is not possible to provide a datefor the use of these specific stones, as stoneshave been used as fishing weights from thePalaeolithic to the modern day. They couldhave been employed as net weights at anypoint during the last 50,000 years.In the past, stones with a natural hole havesometimes been referred to as hag stonesas they were thought to protect the bearerfrom the evil influence of witches. WessexArchaeology hopes that the stones will beeffective in keeping staff at Greenwich safeand free from the influence of evil whilstthe stones are displayed at the wharf.
Hanson: sounding lead 
Hag stones, sinkers and floats
CEMEX: fishing float
5 cm

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