Bronze Age settlements were not isolated and self-sufficient, but part of a network of social exchange, with similarities in pottery forms and style perhaps indicating areas of closer interaction. Wider contact is evidenced by the use of non-local materials, as in the quernstones, and in the general similarity of pottery across the North Sea. This is supported by the evidence of the metalwork and occasional imported pottery.
The recovery of a Bronze Age paddle from the Crouch Estuary, radiocarbon dated to 1255-998 BC, is a reminder of the importance of water borne transport. The rivers, creeks and estuaries of Essex provided the most effective network of routeways. An estuary survey revealed a salt production site at Fenn Creek, radiocarbon dated to 1412-1130 BC. It is likely that salt had an important role in exchange relations, as it plays a vital role in changes in consumption and agricultural production.