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Kingston Down Grave 299

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posted on 10.11.2021, 15:29 by Helena HamerowHelena Hamerow
In the same grave with the last mentioned, and on the right side, lay a skeleton, whose bones were pretty perfect. The coffin appeared to have been pretty thick, but did not seem to have passed the fire. Near the neck were two amethysts and four small beads; and a beautiful fibula subnectens of silver [M 6244], faced with a plate of thin gold, beautifully wrought, and set with garnets and ivory. Its acus, which is of silver (a thing very unusual), is not fixed to it, as they usually are, to move up and down, like a hinge, but horizontally, much like that on my glorious and, I was going to say, inestimable, golden fibula, described at No. 205.[1] Near the left hip was a very pretty armilla, or bracelet, of brass [M 6189]; not made ring-like, with sliding knots, like some before described, but being of one entire round and ornamented with six snakes' heads; with it were a pair of iron shears, as before; an iron instrument, as at No. 297; the blade of a knife; a brass circle, or rather ferrule, with leather adhering to its inside, and four small rivets placed opposite to each other through its sides, as in No. 129, but smaller; and many links of a small iron chain, as before. Between the thighs were the rotten remains of a small, flattish, round wooden box, about three inches diameter; and among them were found two Roman copper coins, namely, of Claudius C√¶sar and Carausius. The former is of the second or middle module, and has, on the obverse side, the head of Claudius, laureated, with this legend: TI. CLAVDIVS CAESAR. AVG. P.M. TR. P. IMP.; on the reverse, Pallas, or Minerva, marching, with a helmet on her head; an uplifted spear, in the act of throwing it, in her right hand, and a shield in her left; the legend, s.c.; it is a very common medal. It is very much worn, and has a hole in it, by which, it is probable, it was hung about the neck. The other coin has the head of Carausius on the obverse side, with this legend: IMP. CARAVSIVS. P.F. AVG. On the reverse is a female figure, standing, with a laurel branch in her right hand, and a spear in her left, with this legend: PAX. AVG. This medal is of the third size, and: is also very common. It is also very much worn; indeed the legends of neither of them could have been read, but that I have seen great numbers of both of them, and so could not but know them at first sight, and have copied them from fairer medals in my own collection. With them was a piece of a small copper armilla, or bracelet, gilt with gold, exactly like that described at No. 15; a small piece of wood (oak, it seems) [M 6196], flat at the bottom and convex at top, very like a button-mould, but that it is not pierced; and an irregular piece of yellowish earth, with a hole in it, as if it had been used as a bead; I imagine it to have been used as a perfume; it has a very sweet smell. At the feet, were the remains of a wooden box, whose dimensions seemed to have been about ten inches long by about six inches broad. Among them was another beautiful fibula subnectens [M 6243]. It is of silver and is set with garnets and ivory, with gilding and wrought work between the settings. Here were also a conch, or shell of the concha Veneris [M 6187], as at No. 142; and the shell of a limpet [M 6185]; two earthen disci, or quoits [M 6183 & M 6238], as I have called them before (see No. 262); a roundish pebble, which seems to have been picked up on the sea-beach; a piece of ivory, or box, in the shape of a button-mould [M 6198], but it has no foramen; two ivory sticks [M 6239 & M 6240] (if I may call them so), sharp at both ends; perhaps their use was, as acus discriminales to part the hair;[2] a very pretty ivory comb [M 6197]; a square flat piece of ivory [M 6199], having a hole at each corner; an odd kind of a brass instrument, which I take to have been a kind of whistle [M 6242][3]; a bluish opaque stone, or glass, in a silver frame [M 6241], which has a loop to it of the same metal; a small bell [M 6184], as at No. 222; a small brass ovalish ringle, which I take to have been used as a buckle, by running a small tongue over it in its grooves; a small iron instrument, as at No. 54; another sort of iron instrument [M 6188].[4] Here were also the iron handle; and the brass hasp and staple [M 6556] of the box. This skeleton lay on the right side of the last mentioned. A woman's grave.[1]See also the fine fibula found at Sittingbourne; Collectanea Antiqua, vol. i, pl. xxxvI, fig. 3.- C.R.S [2]It is more probable that these may be spindles, as Mr. Akerman suggests.- C.R.S. [3]Probably it belongs to the lock of the box.- C.R.S. [4]Another, very similar, occurs at Sibertswold, No. 178; and these may be compared with the example found at Ozingell, Collectanea Antiqua, vol. iii, p. 16. Mr. Akerman has found an example at Harnham Hill, near Salisbury, which, probably with good reason, he considers a steel for striking a light, Archæologia, vol. xxxv, pi. 11, fig. 3. I had considered the Ozingell specimen a purse clasp, or an appendage to the girdle for the purse and other objects of personal use; but I immediately saw that it might with equal reason be looked upon as a steel. But fig. 11, pl. x, of the Jahreshefte des Wirtenbergischen Alterthums Vereins, 1846, from the graves of the Alemanni at Oberflacht, in Suabia, is considered by Captain von Dürrich and Dr. Wolfgang Menzel as an object on which a purse probably hung. As it is in bronze it could not possibly have been a steel; and it bears, with its buckle in the centre, so close a resemblance to the Ozingell relic, that it is difficult to think that they were not intended for the same purpose.- C.R.S.


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Date excavated

30th September, 1773


Faussett 1856

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