Today’s image for Day 157 of VM_365 shows three views of an interesting square pottery vessel, which may have been used as a salt container.
The square pot is made of a thick, flint tempered fabric, fired to a dark brown to black colour. The flint tempering can be seen in section where parts of the wall of the container have broken. The container was found at the Iron Age coastal site at South Dumpton Down, Broadstairs where concentrations of post holes within a boundary enclosure seem to represent the focus of the settlements within the enclosure. The square vessel was found within the fill of one of the main groups of post holes.
The suggestion that this was a salt container was made by the ceramic specialist, Nigel Macpherson-Grant in his report on the pottery. Because it is essential to the biological functions of livestock, and a valuable method of preserving produce to extend its life, salt was a valuable commodity in the Iron Age period, as it was throughout history. Salt may have been extracted from the sea water near to the settlement.