Mineral from the Marshes:Coastal Salt-making in Lincolnshire
An academic volume, by Tom Lane, on the Mineral from the Marshes – Salt.
180 pages, A4 paperback, £30 including P&P
Known about since the mid-nineteenth century the salt-producing sites of Lincolnshire were the subject of initial curiosity and puzzlement before more sustained periods of academic interest and research shed light on this substantial rural industry. Surprisingly, the county’s two main saltmaking areas, the Fenland and the Marshland, have always tended to be regarded separately and studied individually. Moreover, individual studies have tended to be single period-based, with little crossover or reference made to earlier or later salt-making methods. Mindful of this, and in the light of more recent work on Lincolnshire salterns over the past quarter of a century, this volume addresses this false division between Fenland and the Lindsey Marshland coast and sets out to summarise and re-examine earlier excavations and methods of salt-related study. In the light of current knowledge, the origins and development of the salt industry through time and Lincolnshire-wide, its past history, current position and future directions, have been considered and condensed into a single volume. While remaining focused on salt, the volume’s fingers spread wide and, in revisiting some of the early discoveries, it is in part a history of archaeological inquiry in Lincolnshire. It is also an archaeology of the invisible – a consideration of the salterns hidden from view by later marine incursions or ‘swallowed’ by the destructive force of the sea. Mostly, it is the story of the Mineral from the Marshes – salt.