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Hamwic, or Saxon Southampton

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Excavations at Six Dials

 

The middle Saxon (c.700-850) town of Hamwic was situated around what is now Northam and St Marys.

Hamwic was an important port and trading emporium, and finds of pottery, glass, coins, stone and metalwork point to trading connections with Scandinavia, France, the Low Countries and the Rhineland.

Excavations have also shown that many crafts and industries, including pottery making, iron working, lead making, weaving and bone working were practiced in Hamwic. We can picture Hamwic as a busy, densely settled town of merchants and craft's people.

Hamwic declined towards the end of the 9th century, presumably as a result of economic and political changes brought about, in part, by Viking activity. The excavations at Hamwic have resulted in one of the best collections of Middle Saxon finds in Europe.

See a comparison of Winchester and Southampton in the later seventh to ninth centuries.

See also: Great Sites: Hamwic; Hamwic (Saxon Southampton): an 8th century port and production centre

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