The objects of our ancestors can tell us a lot about the past, from what was happening with the economy and changes in fashion to where people traded, lived and worked. Through them, we can discover the story of everyday people who don't appear in documentary accounts. The North West is traditionally seen as devoid of archaeology; however, through the work of the Portable Antiquities Scheme alongside more recent traditional archaeological investigations, this view is changing. By looking at objects discovered in Cheshire, recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme, we can re-evaluate our knowledge of the past within the county.
Cheshire has revealed its past to us through axes from the Bronze Age, Roman hoards, Viking silver, Medieval and Post-medieval jewellery. Within the past few years, three important Roman hoards have been discovered in the county demonstrating that Romanisation took hold. The impressive Huxley hoard brings us into the Early Medieval period. A variety of both functional and decorative objects tells us more about the people who lived and worked throughout our communities. 50 Finds from Cheshire allows us to look at snapshots of our past using archaeological finds to illuminate what has previously been hidden from us.
Vanessa Oakden has been the Portable Antiquities Scheme Finds Liaison Officer for Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside, since 2008. She studied History and Archaeology at the University of Wales Bangor before completing an M.Phil in Medieval History at Trinity College Dublin. Prior to relocating to England she worked within commercial archaeology in Ireland. As a finds specialist Vanessa works with objects from Prehistory to 1700 with a particular interest in the Early Medieval period.