hvered wrote: The apparent link between salt trade and 'wich' places may have acquired 'Viking' connotations, Baltic dwellers needing salt more than most people, but -wick/-vik etc are more widespread than just 'salt places'.
Can anyone remember why Baltic dwellers needed more salt than others? Was it for preserving food?
Bournemouth Uni recently published a learned article on Iron Age and Roman salt-production in southern Britain (focusing on Somerset, Dorset and Kent).
https://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin ... hos.619472
They say things like :
It is also probable that the emergence of uniform salt-production sites in Somerset in the later Roman period, reflects that this area had become predominant for the supply of salt to major ‘consumer sites such as legionary fortresses and the larger towns.
But don't seem to say why Somerset was chosen in preference to any other coastal area. Perhaps it was suitable power sources? Somerset and Kent had coal, Dorset had shale oil.