Briquetage is a coarse ceramic material used to make evaporation vessels and supporting pillars used in extracting salt from brine or seawater.[1] Thick-walled saltpans were filled with saltwater and heated from below until the water had boiled away and salt was left behind. Often, the bulk of the water would be allowed to evaporate in salterns before the concentrated brine was transferred to a smaller briquetage vessel for final reduction. Once only salt was left, the briquetage vessels would have to be broken to remove the valuable commodity for trade.[2]

Broken briquetage material is found at multiple sites from the later Bronze Age in Europe into the medieval period and archaeologists have been able to identify different forms and fabrics of the pottery, allowing trade networks to be identified. Saltworking sites contain large quantities of the orange/red material and in Essex the mounds of briquetage are known as Red Hills. A recent discovery at the Poiana Slatinei archaeological site next to a salt spring in Lunca, Neamt County, Romania, indicates that Neolithic people of the Precucuteni Culture were boiling the salt-laden spring water through the process of Briquetage to extract the salt as far back as 6050 BC, making it perhaps the oldest saltworks in history.[3][4]

Briquetage, iron slag & sherds, Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum, England - DSCF0769
Briquetage, iron slag & sherds, Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum, England


  1. ^ Harding, Anthony: Salt in Prehistoric Europe. Leiden: Sidestone Press, 2013, ISBN 978-90-8890-201-7, pp. 73 ff.
  2. ^ Lane & Morris (2001) A Millennium of Saltmaking: Prehistoric and Romano-British Salt Production in the Fenland
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 April 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Antiquity Vol 79 No 306 December 2005 The earliest salt production in the world: an early Neolithic exploitation in Poiana Slatinei-Lunca, Romania Olivier Weller & Gheorghe Dumitroaia
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 February 2009. Retrieved 17 January 2010.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) Valeriu Cavruc Gheorghe Dumitroaia Vestigii arheologice privind exploatarea sãrii pe teritoriul României în perioada neo-eneoliticã
Archaeology of the Channel Islands

Archaeology is promoted in Jersey by the Société Jersiaise and by Jersey Heritage. Promotion in the Bailiwick of Guernsey being undertaken by La Société Guernesiaise, Guernsey Museums, the Alderney Society with World War II work also undertaken by Festung Guernsey.

Archaeologists in each island give regular talks on their work and summer digs in the islands usually require helpers and volunteers.

Interest in the archaeology of the islands is first recorded in the 16th century. By the 18th century articles were being published in magazines with engravings explaining interesting historic sites.


Badgworth is a village and civil parish in the Sedgemoor district of Somerset, England, 2 miles (3.2 km) south west of Axbridge. According to the 2011 census it had a population of 525.The village is home to an equestrian centre known as the Badgworth Arena.

Calleva Atrebatum

Calleva Atrebatum ("Calleva of the Atrebates") was originally an Iron Age settlement, capital of the Atrebates tribe, and subsequently a town in the Roman province of Britannia. Its ruins lie to the west of, and partly beneath, the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Silchester, in the county of Hampshire. The church occupies a site just within the ancient walls of Calleva although the village of Silchester itself now lies about a mile (1.6 km) to the west.

Cornovii (Midlands)

The Cornovii were a Celtic people of Iron Age and Roman Britain, who lived principally in the modern English counties of Cheshire, Shropshire, north Staffordshire, north Herefordshire and eastern parts of the Welsh counties of Flintshire, Powys and Wrexham. Their capital in pre-Roman times was probably a hillfort on the Wrekin. Ptolemy's 2nd-century Geography names two of their towns: Deva Victrix (Chester) and Viroconium Cornoviorum (Wroxeter), which became their capital under Roman rule.

Their territory was bordered by the Brigantes to the North, the Corieltauvi to the East, the Dobunni to the South, and the Deceangli, and Ordovices to the West.

The people who inhabited the very north of the British mainland (modern Caithness), and Cornwall were also known by the same name, but according to mainstream or academic opinion were quite separate and unrelated peoples. (see list of ancient Celtic peoples and tribes).

Coverack to Porthoustock

Coverack to Porthoustock is a coastal Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) in Cornwall, England, UK, noted for both its biological and geological characteristics. The site contains four Red Data Book plant species.

Cucuteni–Trypillia culture

The Cucuteni–Trypillia culture (Romanian: Cultura Cucuteni and Ukrainian: Трипільська культура), also known as the Tripolye culture (Russian: Трипольская культура), is a Neolithic–Eneolithic archaeological culture (c. 5200 to 3500 BC) of Eastern Europe.

It extended from the Carpathian Mountains to the Dniester and Dnieper regions, centred on modern-day Moldova and covering substantial parts of western Ukraine and northeastern Romania, encompassing an area of 350,000 km2 (140,000 sq mi), with a diameter of 500 km (300 mi; roughly from Kyiv in the northeast to Brașov in the southwest).The majority of Cucuteni–Trypillia settlements consisted of high-density, small settlements (spaced 3 to 4 kilometres apart), concentrated mainly in the Siret, Prut and Dniester river valleys.

During the Middle Trypillia phase (c. 4000 to 3500 BC), populations belonging to the Cucuteni–Trypillia culture built the largest settlements in Neolithic Europe, some of which contained as many as 3,000 structures and were possibly inhabited by 20,000 to 46,000 people.One of the most notable aspects of this culture was the periodic destruction of settlements, with each single-habitation site having a lifetime of roughly 60 to 80 years. The purpose of burning these settlements is a subject of debate among scholars; some of the settlements were reconstructed several times on top of earlier habitational levels, preserving the shape and the orientation of the older buildings. One particular location; the Poduri site in Romania, revealed thirteen habitation levels that were constructed on top of each other over many years.

History of Brittany

The history of Brittany may refer to the entire history of the Armorican peninsula or only to the creation and development of a specifically Brythonic culture and state in the Early Middle Ages and the subsequent history of that state.

Pre-Brythonic Armorica includes the ancient megalith cultures in the area and the Celtic tribal territories that existed before Roman rule. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, large scale migration from Great Britain led to the foundation of British colonies linked initially to homelands in Cornwall, Devon, and Wales. The independent Breton kingdom later developed into the Duchy of Brittany, before it was unified with France to become a province. After the French Revolution Brittany was abolished as an administrative unit, but continued to retain its distinctive cultural identity. Its administrative existence was reconstituted, in reduced size, as the Region of Brittany in the mid-20th century.

The history of Brittany begins with settlement beginning in prehistoric times, beginning around 700 000 BCE. The neolithic era, which began around 5000 BCE, is characterised in the region by the development of an important megalithic art found in sites such as the cairn of Barnenez, the cairn of Gavrinis, the table of the Merchants of Locmariaquer or the alignments of Carnac. In the course of its protohistory which began around the middle of the third century BCE, a subsoil rich in tin allowed the development of an industry in bronze objects, which led to commercial routes for export to other regions of Europe. It was inhabited by Gallic peoples including the Veneti and the Namnetes in the first centuries BCE before these territories were conquered by Julius Caesar in 57 BCE, and progressively Romanized.

As part of Armorica since the Gallo-Roman period, Brittany developed an important maritime trade network near the ports of Nantes, Vannes, and Alet, as well as salting factories along its coasts. When Rome encountered crises in the third and fifth centuries, the first island Bretons were asked by the imperial power to help secure their territory, beginning with a migratory movement that was carried out until the sixth century, and saw the beginnings of many kingdoms in the peninsula. In order to prevent Breton incursion, the neighbouring Frankish kingdom created a Breton borderland incorporating the counties of Rennes and Nantes. From the sixth to ninth centuries, the Merovingian dynasty and the Carolingian dynasty tried to integrate the region into the Frankish kingdom, with limited and ephemeral success.

The union of the country as Brittany occurred in 851 under King Erispoë, son of Nominoë, but was disrupted by disputes over succession and Norman incursions. Since 939, a duchy of Brittany was established with somewhat definite borders, adminitered by dukes of Breton houses from 939 to 1166, before falling into the sphere of influence of the Plantagenets and then the Capets. The War of the Breton Succession lasted from 1341 to 1364 against the backdrop of the Hundred Years' War. An autonomous power emerged in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, maintaining a policy of independence from France. The union of Brittany to France occurred in 1532.

The Breton province maintained relative autonomy and benefited from its own institutions. After a period of strong economic and demographic growth in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, due to a period of newfound peace, Brittany experienced a trouble period from the end of the seventeenth century to the French Revolution of 1789. Brittany was dissolved in 1789 and divided among the departments of Côtes-du-Nord, Finistère, Ille-et-Vilaine, Loire-Inférieure and Morbihan.

After a long nineteenth century marked by a modernization of agriculture and by huge increases in population, an emigration to the rest of France began. Although a traditionally conservative region, Brittany saw the rise of workers' movements in cities such as Brest, Lorient and Saint-Nazaire. The First World War was an important turning point for Bretons, who discovered new ways of life, which some would seek to integrate little by little. The question of the proper place for the Breton language and regional traditions became the central element of a political movement which began to emerge in the same era. A long process of modernization took place from the 1920s through the 1970s, in concert with a movement of cultural reaffirmation.

History of Romania

This article provides an overview of the history of Romania; further details are presented in separate articles.

History of salt

Salt, also referred to as table salt or by its chemical formula NaCl, is an ionic compound made of sodium and chloride ions. All life has evolved to depend on its chemical properties to survive. It has been used by humans for thousands of years, from food preservation to seasoning. Salt's ability to preserve food was a founding contributor to the development of civilization. It helped to eliminate dependence on seasonal availability of food, and made it possible to transport food over large distances. However, salt was often difficult to obtain, so it was a highly valued trade item, and was considered a form of currency by certain peoples. Many salt roads, such as the via Salaria in Italy, had been established by the Bronze age.

All through history, availability of salt has been pivotal to civilization. In Britain, the suffix "-wich" in a placename means it was once a source of salt, as in Sandwich and Norwich. The Natron Valley was a key region that supported the Egyptian Empire to its north, because it supplied it with a kind of salt that came to be called by its name, natron. Today, salt is almost universally accessible, relatively cheap, and often iodized.

List of scheduled monuments in Sedgemoor

Sedgemoor is a low-lying area of land in Somerset, England. It lies close to sea level south of the Polden Hills, forming a large part of the Somerset Levels and Moors, a wetland area between the Mendips and the Blackdown Hills. The Neolithic people exploited the reed swamps for their natural resources and started to construct wooden trackways, including the world's oldest known timber trackway, the Post Track, dating to the 3800s BC. The Levels were the location of the Iron Age Glastonbury Lake Village as well as two lake villages at Meare Lake. Several settlements and hill forts were built on the natural "islands" of slightly raised land, including Brent Knoll and Glastonbury. In the Roman period sea salt was extracted and a string of settlements were set up along the Polden Hills.A scheduled monument is a nationally important archaeological site or monument which is given legal protection by being placed on a list (or "schedule") by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport; English Heritage takes the leading role in identifying such sites. The legislation governing this is the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979. The term "monument" can apply to the whole range of archaeological sites, and they are not always visible above ground. Such sites have to have been deliberately constructed by human activity. They range from prehistoric standing stones and burial sites, through Roman remains and medieval structures such as castles and monasteries, to later structures such as industrial sites and buildings constructed for the World Wars or the Cold War.There are 79 scheduled monuments in Sedgemoor. The oldest are Neolithic, Bronze Age or Iron Age including hill forts, bowl barrows and occupied caves including several in Cheddar Gorge. Cannington Camp (which is also known as Cynwit Castle) dates from the Bronze Age, while Brent Knoll Camp between the Somerset Levels and Brean Down is Iron Age (although there are some Bronze Age artefacts) and it was reused in the Roman period. The Romano-British period is represented with several sites. Medieval sites include several motte-and-bailey castles and church or village crosses. Industrial development, particularly in Bridgwater, are represented by brick and tile kilns and a telescopic railway bridge. The most recent monuments are World War II bunkers and bombing decoys on Black Down. The monuments are listed below using the titles given in the English Heritage data sheets.

Open-pan salt making

Open-pan salt making is a method of salt production wherein salt is extracted from the brine using vacuum pans. The brine is heated in a partial vacuum to lower the boiling point. In the past salt has been extracted by heating the brine in pans operating at normal atmospheric pressure, known as open pans.

Virtually all European domestic salt is obtained by solution mining of underground salt formations although some is still obtained by the solar evaporation of sea water.

Poulton, Cheshire

Poulton is a settlement in Cheshire West and Chester. The area, which was a former civil parish until being merged into the combined parish of Poulton and Pulford in 2015,

is in the ceremonial county of Cheshire in England. In 2001 census it had a recorded population of 92.Since 1995, significant archaeological activity has been conducted in the area, first by the University of Liverpool and later by the independent group known as the Poulton Research Project.

Prehistory of Brittany

This page concerns the prehistory of Brittany.

Red hill (salt making)

Red Hill is an archaeological term for a small mound with a reddish colour found in the coastal and tidal river areas of East Anglia and Essex. Red Hills are formed as a result of generations of salt making, deriving their colour from the rubble of clay structures used in the salt-making process that have been scorched red by fires used to evaporate sea water to make salt cakes. They date from the Bronze Age, Iron Age and into the Roman period.


Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of salts; salt in its natural form as a crystalline mineral is known as rock salt or halite. Salt is present in vast quantities in seawater, where it is the main mineral constituent. The open ocean has about 35 grams (1.2 oz) of solids per liter of sea water, a salinity of 3.5%.

Salt is essential for life in general, and saltiness is one of the basic human tastes. Salt is one of the oldest and most ubiquitous food seasonings, and salting is an important method of food preservation.

Some of the earliest evidence of salt processing dates to around 6,000 BC, when people living in the area of present-day Romania boiled spring water to extract salts; a salt-works in China dates to approximately the same period. Salt was also prized by the ancient Hebrews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Hittites, Egyptians, and the Indians. Salt became an important article of trade and was transported by boat across the Mediterranean Sea, along specially built salt roads, and across the Sahara on camel caravans. The scarcity and universal need for salt have led nations to go to war over it and use it to raise tax revenues. Salt is used in religious ceremonies and has other cultural and traditional significance.

Salt is processed from salt mines, and by the evaporation of seawater (sea salt) and mineral-rich spring water in shallow pools. Its major industrial products are caustic soda and chlorine; salt is used in many industrial processes including the manufacture of polyvinyl chloride, plastics, paper pulp and many other products. Of the annual global production of around two hundred million tonnes of salt, about 6% is used for human consumption. Other uses include water conditioning processes, de-icing highways, and agricultural use. Edible salt is sold in forms such as sea salt and table salt which usually contains an anti-caking agent and may be iodised to prevent iodine deficiency. As well as its use in cooking and at the table, salt is present in many processed foods.

Sodium is an essential nutrient for human health via its role as an electrolyte and osmotic solute. Excessive salt consumption may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension, in children and adults. Such health effects of salt have long been studied. Accordingly, numerous world health associations and experts in developed countries recommend reducing consumption of popular salty foods. The World Health Organization recommends that adults should consume less than 2,000 mg of sodium, equivalent to 5 grams of salt per day.


A saltern is an area or installation for making salt. Salterns include modern salt-making works, as well as hypersaline waters that usually contain high concentrations of halophilic microorganisms, primarily haloarchaea but also other halophiles including algae and bacteria.

Salterns usually begin with seawater as the initial source of brine but may also use natural saltwater springs and streams. The water is evaporated, usually over a series of ponds, to the point where sodium chloride and other salts precipitate out of the saturated brine, allowing pure salts to be harvested. Where complete evaporation in this fashion was not routinely achievable due to weather, salt was produced from the concentrated brine by boiling the brine.

Earliest examples of pans used in the solution mining of salt date back to prehistoric times and the pans were made of ceramics known as briquetage. Later examples were made from lead and then iron. The change from lead to iron coincided with a change from wood to coal for the purpose of heating the brine. Brine would be pumped into the pans, and concentrated by the heat of the fire burning underneath. As crystals of salt formed these would be raked out and more brine added. In warmer climates no additional heat would be supplied, the sun's heat being sufficient to evaporate off the brine.

Sea salt

Sea salt is salt that is produced by the evaporation of seawater. It is used as a seasoning in foods, cooking, cosmetics and for preserving food. It is also called bay salt, solar salt, or salt. Like mined rock salt, production of sea salt has been dated to prehistoric times. There is no scientific evidence that consuming sea salt instead of more refined sodium chloride salts has any health benefit.

Tolleshunt D'Arcy

Tolleshunt D'Arcy is a village and civil parish in the county of Essex in the East of England. The parish has a parish council, and lies within the area of Maldon District Council.

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