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Guilton Grave 66

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posted on 2021-11-10, 15:13 authored by Helena HamerowHelena Hamerow
Grave as the last, and about three and a half feet deep. Plain marks of a coffin: bones almost decayed: the head of an hasta, at the right side, and out of the coffin; marks of coarse cloth upon it, as on others before mentioned: an hemispherical umbo, and three broad-headed iron studs: an hollow cylinder, and cross-pieces of iron, as before: the blade of a sword, of the same size as at No. 10, etc.; the hilt was of wood, as might be seen by some of it which adhered to the strig; the pommel was of iron, filled with lead, as at No. 56: a pair of small scales, not unlike those now used by the goldsmiths: eighteen copper weights: a square piece of touchstone; and a coin of Fl. Jul. Constantius; it is of the third size, and has on one side his head, and this legend,FL. IVL. CONSTANTIVS. N.C.; on the other, two soldiers standing, with two military ensigns erected between them, and this legend, GLORIA. EXERCITVS; it is a very common one. Here were also the blades of two knives, a larger and a smaller; the larger was like a modern pruning knife, as at No. 35; and several long nails, and the bloated ferrule of the hasta. This is the third example adduced of the circular iron pommel. Seventeen only are described. These weights are among the most interesting objects discovered by the Rev. B. Faussett. Others, very similar to these, together with a pair of small scales, were procured by Mr. Rolfe from the cemetery at Ozingell: they are figured in pl. iv, vol. iii, of the Collectanea Antiqua; and in pp. 12 to 15 I have stated reasons for believing they were chiefly used for weighing the numerous varieties of foreign coins, both gold and silver, which must necessarily have been current in Britain in the early Anglo-Saxon times. In some instances, but certainly not generally, these weights found at Gilton and Ozingell, may have been formed of coins rubbed down to adjust them to a certain standard; but in most cases, they appear to be coins that had been worn by long circulation. Among some of the lots sold at the sale of the Rev. Bryan Faussett's cabinet, I discovered five large and one middle brass imperial Roman coins (since added to Mr. Mayer's collection), which, from the small holes drilled or punched on both sides, were obviously used by the Kentish Saxons as weights. Of these, one is of Domitian, one of Trajan, two of Hadrian, one of Maximinus, and one (the middle brass coin) of M. Aurelius. The last is a Greek civic coin (Chalcedon). Among the Gilton weights is one (fig. 16) formed out of a Celtic coin, similar to several in Mr.Rolfe's cabinet, found at Quex, in Thanet. The earliest Saxon coins, are those well known to the numismatist by the term. Five of these, a few years since, were found by the side of a skeleton in a tumulus on Breach Downs. Three of them weigh, each, 17 grains; one, 18 grains; and one, 19 grains. On referring to the list of weights from the Gilton cemetery, it may be seen that No. 20, weighing 19 grains, might have been used for such coins; and that weight No. 4, the highest of the series, might represent forty eight of these pieces. In the time of Arcadius and Honorius we find, the smaller silver coins weighing 29 grains, 17 grains, and some even 12 grains. A large number of this period, found in the West of England, a few years since, gave this result; many of these had been clipt, apparently to reduce them to a certain weight. In the cemetery at Ozingell, one silver coin was found which weighed only three grains. At the same time there must have been in circulation the various early Roman denarii and quinarii, the weights of which varied exceedingly, especially towards the decline of the Roman empire, as well as the forged and debased silver coins, which abounded in the provinces. The gold coins were hardly less numerous and various; and in addition to the Roman, there were the coinages of the barbaric kings in France, Germany, and Italy, and also that of the Merovingian princes. With a currency so intricate and fluctuating, it can easily be comprehended that a variety of weights would be needed, and that money-changers would regulate them to meet their peculiar exigencies. The weapons of war and the insignia of commerce in the same grave, suggest the notion that the occupant had laid by the implements of his early vocation, and followed a more peaceful and humanising profession. – C.R.S. The weights are as follows: oz. dwt. gr. 4. Has no mark; and has never been a coin: it weighs 118195Has no mark; and has never been a coin: weighs1 336Coin of Trajan in first brass; has been ground 13 07Coin of M. Aurelius in first brass; has been ground down to its weight  12228Coin of the younger Faustina, of second brass, and ground 999I think this has never been a coin; if it has, it is much ground down  81810Has the marks, as described; it has been a coin, but I cannot tell of whom 71211It never was a coin 6012Has the marks as above described  5413Second brass coin of Constantius Chlorus; has been ground  5514Has not been a coin 31515Has not been a coin  21416Seems to have been made on purpose for a weight  122.517Has not been a coin 12118Is a common coin of the lower empire  1719Coin of Flav. Jul. Constantius  1620Has the marks above described    19 Inventorium Sepulchrale, plate XVI


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Date excavated

September 28th, 29th, 30th, 1762


Faussett 1856

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