Book Review – 50 Finds from Manchester and Merseyside: Objects from the Portable Antiquities Scheme by Vanessa Oakden
Amberley Publishing – £13.49
ISBN-13 – 978-1445658551
Greater Manchester and Merseyside are built-up, urban areas, where the archaeology is often hidden under modern buildings and developments. There are also rural pockets of land and open spaces where coins and objects that were lost in the past are brought back to the surface by the plough. These finds are often rediscovered by metal detectorists, field walkers, or simply by chance. The objects then make their way to the Portable Antiquities Scheme, where they are recorded and plotted in order to help us understand more about our past.
The Roman fort at Manchester, the ancient trading port of Meols in Wirral, and the more recent industrial past all play a part in our shared heritage. Objects lost by those who lived and worked in the region add to our knowledge of this rich and diverse landscape. Neolithic polished stone axes, Early Medieval inscribed stones, coins and jewellery reveal how local people lived and worked. Metalwork from the Bronze Age to the Post-Medieval period unravels the secrets of areas from the economy, technology and trade to fashion. 50 Finds from Manchester and Merseyside allows us to dip into our fascinating history using the objects lost by our ancestors as our guide
Vanessa Oakden, Finds Liaison Officer for Cheshire, provides a fascinating and accessible analysis of objects that range from the familiar to the obscure, commenting on the rarity of the artefacts featured. By connecting a large number of small finds, the author creates a personal view of the areas past, writing this book in a chronological order that explains all details and offers a fantastic look at 50 items recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme in the area.
A great book, well worth the purchase, with some eye opening finds from an area I have personally spent a lot of time in, and including a bronze age axe head discovered at a metal detecting rally I was lucky enough to organise for the Mayor of Rochdale. A great local book and source of research material.
Dave Sadler – Editor – Archaeology and Metal Detecting Magazine.