3. Methodology

The current project has produced a complete catalogue of the geo-referenced early medieval metal finds recovered up until June 2015. This includes all those finds logged by Haldenby and by other detector users working with him, or known to him, as well as key finds recovered during fieldwork by the University of York. The majority of the metal-detected finds were plotted by pacing in relation to the modern field boundary and gate, which has been demonstrated to yield reasonably precise results, at least as accurate as hand-held GPS machines. Finds were then plotted on a hand-drawn plan and the coordinates were later converted to Ordnance Survey grid references. Initially, hones and some iron finds such as knives were not plotted but are included in the database for the sake of completeness. The catalogue also includes significant finds recovered during the 1993 field-walking, and pottery collected by Haldenby and others during two further episodes of field-walking (2010 and 2014), with each sherd similarly plotted against the Ordnance Survey grid. Also included are all excavated small finds (metal, lithics and worked bone and antler objects recovered during the two seasons of excavation in 1993 and 1995), but not the bulk finds of pottery and animal bone. The chronological range of the finds runs from the Bronze Age to the post-medieval period, but it is the early medieval period that is the focus here. For the early medieval finds, the new database supersedes the catalogue provided in earlier publications (Richards 1999a; 2001a) and the digital archive (Richards 2001b) and the opportunity has been taken to refine the descriptions of artefacts and definition of types, as well as to correct errors in the original list. In total there are 1082 artefacts in the new catalogue, 891 of which have coordinates. Of the total number of finds, 903 were recovered by Haldenby and other metal-detector users during metal-detecting or field-walking, while the remaining 179 were recovered during excavation or field-walking undertaken by the University of York.

A complete photographic record has also been produced for the majority of the early medieval non-ferrous finds and is searchable as part of the new ADS archive that accompanies this article (Haldenby and Richards 2016). In the next section we will discuss some of the main features of the distribution of objects and possible interpretations. We anticipate, however, that it may be possible to discern further patterning, especially as our understanding of artefact chronology is further refined, and the full dataset is provided so that future researchers may not only test our interpretations but also draw new conclusions.


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