Nantwich waterlogged deposits digital archive

Timothy Malim, Ian Panter, Mark Swain, 2018

Data copyright © SLR Consulting, Cheshire East Council, Historic England unless otherwise stated

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Timothy Malim, Ian Panter, Mark Swain (2018) Nantwich waterlogged deposits digital archive [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor]


Nantwich waterlogged deposits digital archive

This Historic England-funded study was a unique attempt to systematically characterize a specific urban environment in which organic archaeological remains have been well-preserved.

The nationally strategic aim of the Nantwich Waterlogged Deposits project was to develop and test a scientifically rigorous methodology for characterizing and monitoring the historic buried remains in urban waterlogged deposits so that bespoke management plans could be designed to secure the long-term conservation of such remains in ancient urban centres where this is viable.

Nantwich town centre is built upon an extensive area of deeply stratified and waterlogged deposits containing a wealth of palaeoenvironmental data and organic remains from Iron Age to post-medieval times. The vulnerability of these deposits from desiccation, and from physical or chemical changes to the burial environment, threatens not only the survival of buried remains, but also the structural stability of the above-ground historic environment.

The regional aim of the project was to protect and conserve the historic core of Nantwich, one of the best preserved towns in the northwest, renowned for its variety of standing 16th century and later timber-frame buildings.

Locally the aim of the project was to design a revised management strategy to help protect Nantwich as an Area of Special Archaeological Potential, and to ensure that this strategy is adopted and implemented by the new arrangements for local government and planning control within Cheshire.

Objectives included: extracting core samples through the deposit sequence by boreholes, description, analysis and sub-sampling for porosity, physical and chemical characterization, and dating; design and test an effective methodology for monitoring the preservation of in situ waterlogged deposits; develop a management tool that will benefit national and international partners; gather data on types and rates of change to the burial environment; design strategic management plan and produce planning guidance; and disseminate the results to various audiences to help raise awareness of the threats and potential solutions to continued preservation of these urban waterlogged deposits.