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Crundale Grave 21

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posted on 10.11.2021, 14:58 by Helena HamerowHelena Hamerow
Towards sunset, we came to a small spot at about four yards distance from the road, which we had till now taken no notice of; for the labourers having scattered the earth taken out of some adjacent nests of urns upon it, it appeared as if it had been already dug. But a heavy shower happening to fall this afternoon, discovered the green sward. Here we soon came to a nest, which contained a large urn, or ossuary, of coarse black earth, in shape and size much like that described at No, 9. It was nearly full of burnt bones and ashes, among which I found a very pretty lachrymatory of reddish earth [M 6830], standing upright, with its neck and orifice about one inch above them. It was so strongly mortared to them, that, being soft with the damp, I was obliged to use great care in separating it from them: but I had the good luck not to break it. The ossuary was broken in pieces. Here were also two small urns, much like those already described; and a patera, all of very coarse earth [M 6827]; and which, all three of them, came to pieces in removing. The patera was the most entire; and being of a somewhat different make from those already mentioned, I carried the sherds of it home, and joined them as well as I could. The brittleness, or rather rottenness, of all the vessels deposited in this hole, I attribute to their not having been buried in the rock chalk (as most of the others were); but in the common soil, which everywhere hereabouts covers the chalk for about one or two feet. This was also the case with some others as well as these; and it was very visible, that those which were placed in the firm chalk, were much more firm and better preserved, than those which lay in the more superficial earth. This is owing, no doubt, to the dry and limy quality of the chalk. Night coming on, put an end to this day's work.

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