Quay Has the Key to City's Heyday
Byline: By Tony Henderson Environment Editor
A picture is emerging of centuries of bustling life on a Quayside site at Newcastle.
A four-month dig has ended at the Tuthill Stairs site next to the medieval Cooperage pub, where the City Lofts apartments project is now taking shape.
Archaeologists have been able to trace the whole sequence of settlement on the site from the 12th to the 16th Centuries, with buildings becoming more sophisticated and elaborate.
It would have been a prime site for merchants who wanted to live by the Tyne riverside. which was the centre of trade and where the money was to be made.
Evidence that the occupants had cash to spend comes from finds of pottery imported from other parts of the country and from Europe.
These "Sunday best" pieces include fashionable face pots, the forerunners of the Toby Jug.
The dig uncovered what is thought to be a back room brewery in one of the houses, including a malt shovel.
"We also found an amazing number of hearths and kitchen-waste middens, which should help us to define the diets of these people between the 14th and 16th Centuries," said archaeologist Steve Speak. …