To that end some of the team spent the day (April 27, 2017) in the stores of Tees Archaeology in Hartlepool (http://www.teesarchaeology.com/home/home.html), recording metalwork from the Mill Lane mixed rite cemetery from Norton, published by Steve Sherlock and the late Martin Welch in a CBA volume in 1992 (available on line). This also presented an opportunity for our new PDRA Lauren Walther to review the human skeletal remains from 6th century Norton and the later site at Bishopsmill, held in the well-organised and clearly labelled stores. Lauren will probably return to take samples for DNA, strontium isotope and radiocarbon dating analyses for the third element of the project.
In a list a knife is just a knife, perhaps with a typology applied based on shape. By weighing we can record in shorthand the differences between objects of the same type and by accumulating data interpret these differences over time and space. Already today we could demonstrate that most knives from Norton were rather insubstantial, even the Evison Type 1 knives, probably the most common form nationally, particularly in comparison to those from iron-rich communities in the south east of England. Even this seax is not as weighty as its southern counterparts.
Our thanks go to Rachel Grahame for allowing us access to the archive.
Our visit to Hartlepool concluded with a trip over to the Headland, site of over 150 burials relevant to our project time frame, although with many more spread across this isolated and today a rather inhospitable location due to a heavy rain. At least we could catch up with Hartlepool’s most famous if mythical son Andy Capp!