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Nets and Sieves at Lunt Meadows

Crosby’s Soroptimists continue to explore Mesolithic life at Lunt Meadows.

As part of the collaborative project members have already been ‘guinea pigs’ on several workshops. Barry Taylor (University of Chester, Archaeology) led a recent session on cording and netting.

Netting skills are a challenge today – but an essential part of life at Lunt Meadows when fish formed a large part of people’s diet. Mesolithic people would first have to make their own cord from natural materials. Then they could make their nets.

Hand-tied gill nets were quick to construct. (Modern materials were used on the workshop as cording would have taken all day!) Netting using a ‘needle’, however, proved much more complex. It was a difficult skill to learn in a group.

Participants then wove cords – and used them with reeds to construct a basic fish trap. Or ‘attempt’ to construct. It was a very slow process and no-one could complete a trap.

The practical work and interaction certainly showed Barry which elements will be useful in workshops for the general public.

The programme of wet-sieving continues. This assists the research done by Ron Cowell, Curator of Prehistoric Archaeology at the Museum of Liverpool.

Margaret Davidson, President of SI Crosby, has been taking part in sessions. “It’s a messy process” she said, “but immensely satisfying when an artefact emerges from the mud.”

SI Crosby is in partnership with The Wildlife Trust (Lancashire, Manchester & North Merseyside) at Lunt Meadows. Skills-based workshops enable members to help in the development of educational opportunities. By taking part, members will also be able to offer more ‘informed’ assistance as sessions are open to the general public.