A Shot in the Dark

Sometimes the smallest objects can lead you down some unexpected research paths, where the provenance (archaeology-speak for location and context) is as important, if not more so, than the object itself. This is often very true of ancient hoards rich in precious metals. It’s the information they contain and their location that are the most…

SEP Part 13: Return to New Bailey Prison

  Maintaining law and order in industrialising Britain became a problem in the late 18th century, especially in the rapidly expanding industrial towns and cities. Prison reform was proposed by John Howard in 1777 in his landmark work The State of Prisons. He argued that prisoners could be reformed and morally improved through hard work,…

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…