A WORCESTERSHIRE County Council officer has made history by uncovering the secrets of a local Iron Age settlement in an international archaeological journal.
Archaeologist Derek Hurst is one of just a handful of non-academics ever to have had his work published in the genre, which is usually reserved exclusively for university-based scholars.
His report, which has appeared in The Council for British Archaeology's online journal Internet Archaeology thanks to funding from English Heritage, charters the excavation of a site at Blackstone, near Bewdley, which took place back in the 1970s.
It records how archaeologists discovered fragments of pottery indicating that at the time of the main Iron Age occupation from the 2nd century into the 1st century BC, the dwellers operated sophisticated trading links.
A substance called briquetage was also revealed. This coarse ceramic material was used in the process of extracting and trading salt, and its presence indicates strong ties with Droitwich Spa, which is famed worldwide for its historical salt production.