Salt on the Screen: an informative digital showcase of historic salt production in Lincolnshire

Salt is essential for life and has been used for the preservation of food, tanning, glazing pottery and as a trading commodity. Lincolnshire, with its long coastline, wide saltmarshes, low annual precipitation, onshore winds and low-lying topography has provided an ideal location for salt making since the Bronze Age. Evidence of past salt making activities including salterns, remnants of clay pots, mounds of waste material, place names and trackways e.g. Hel and Hal, suggest locations of early salterns, and e.g. Saltersway, suggests a route for the traded salt.

This project will explore innovative ways to present archaeological, archival and environmental evidence that reconstructs the history of salt production in Lincolnshire. The project, in association with Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust (LWT) will help enhance the cultural and public appeal of the region, reaching new audiences using novel approaches. We will prototype an interactive web-based visualisation that can be used in the field by visitors to the sites. The prototype will rely on existing platforms (e.g. OpenLayers, ArcGIS StoryMaps, Shorthand, Cutting Room, Klynt etc.) to develop data-driven narratives. The design will consider different types of place-based interactions, including deep mapping. 

The student will use maps, lidar, aerial images and other documents held by LWT who recognise the importance of salt production in the region and the interest that the public have in this history. We will work closely with LWT throughout to review possible design ideas, and we will present ideas and prototypes to environment and heritage communities in an end of project virtual event.

Required Skills

We are looking for one student for this project.  The following skills are essential to the role:

  • Experience in UX/UI design and prototyping (e.g. storyboarding, wireframes)
  • Experience in (or willingness to learn) web development (i.e. HTML, CSS, Javascript) 

It would be an advantage to have:

  • Interest in the environment, maps and/or digital heritage
  • Experience of Javascript frameworks (e.g. React) and visualisation libraries (e.g. Babylon.js, Three,js, D3.js)

How to apply

For more details on the summer school application process (including eligibility and funding) please go here: https://digitalcreativity.ac.uk/news/dc-labs-summer-school-2021
If you would like to ask informal questions about the project please contact Dr Katherine Selby (katherine.selby@york.ac.uk) or Dr Debbie Maxwell (debbie.maxwell@york.ac.uk).
For general questions about the programme, logistics etc please contact Ella Eyre, DC Labs Administrator on enquiries@digitalcreativity.ac.uk

Supervisors

Dr Katherine Selby, Deptartment of Environment and Geography

Dr Debbie Maxwell, Deptartment of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media

Further reading:

Lane, T., 2018, Mineral from the Marshes: Coastal Salt-Making in Lincolnshire, Lincolnshire Archaeology and Heritage Reports Series 12

Lane, T., and Morris, E.L., (eds), 2001, A Millennium of Saltmaking: Prehistoric and Romano-British Salt Production in the Fenland, Lincolnshire Archaeology and Heritage Reports Series 4

Morris, E.L., 2007, ‘Making Magic: Later Prehistoric and Early Roman Salt Production in the Lincolnshire Fenland’, in Haselgrove, C and Moore, T. (eds), The Later Iron Age in Britain and Beyond, (Oxford: Oxbow)

Roberts L., 2016, Deep Mapping and Spatial Anthropology, Humanities, 5(1):5. https://doi.org/10.3390/h5010005 

Thomas, G and Fletcher, W., 2001, ‘Prehistoric and Roman salt-making in the Lincolnshire Marsh’, in Ellis, S., Fenwick, H., Lillie, M and Van de Noort, R., (eds) Wetland Heritage of the Lincolnshire Marsh (University of Hull), 215-230