Greater Manchester and Merseyside are built-up, urban areas, where the archaeology is often hidden under modern buildings and developments. There are also rural pockets of land and open spaces where coins and objects that were lost in the past are brought back to the surface by the plough. These finds are often rediscovered by metal detectorists, field walkers, or simply by chance. The objects then make their way to the Portable Antiquities Scheme, where they are recorded and plotted in order to help us understand more about our past.
The Roman fort at Manchester, the ancient trading port of Meols in Wirral, and the more recent industrial past all play a part in our shared heritage. Objects lost by those who lived and worked in the region add to our knowledge of this rich and diverse landscape. Neolithic polished stone axes, Early Medieval inscribed stones, coins and jewellery reveal how local people lived and worked. Metalwork from the Bronze Age to the Post-Medieval period unravels the secrets of areas from the economy, technology and trade to fashion. 50 Finds from Manchester and Merseyside allows us to dip into our fascinating history using the objects lost by our ancestors as our guide.
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.