30 Years An Archaeologist

December 2017 marks a very personal milestone which has prompted some personal reflection on my part. On the 15th December 1987 I started my first full-time archaeological post as a supervisor for the Greater Manchester Archaeological Unit (GMAU). I’d had archaeological work before, as a paid digger and supervisor on a number of excavations whilst…

SEP Part 12: Industrial Workers’ Housing in Salford

  Thousands of workers’ houses were built to accommodate the city’s working population in the 19th century. The poor quality of those houses and their over-crowded conditions made Salford notorious for its slums.   The types of housing that existed during this period included double-depth terraces, some of which had yards and outshuts to their…

Salford’s Early Past Pt 4: Roman Roads

  Three Roman roads crossed the Salford landscape. These avoided Chat Moss, the large tract of raised bog which dominated several square kilometers of the northern bank of the River Irwell, in Salford.   They represent the earliest Roman activity in the area. Their construction coincides with the establishment of the Roman fort at Manchester. This was…

Salford’s Early Past Pt 3: The First Farmers

  Salford was the first area within Greater Manchester where Iron Age settlement was positively identified through modern excavation. This was in 1986 when a cropmark of a double-ditched enclosure was spotted and photographed by Prof Nick Higham of Manchester University. Evaluation trenching later that year confirmed the presence of early ditches. Since then Iron Age enclosures have…