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Kingston Down Grave 309

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posted on 2021-11-10, 15:29 authored by Helena HamerowHelena Hamerow
The barrow in question formed one of a group close to the Canterbury and Dover road, on the brow of the hill hanging over the village of Kingston. They are known to have been opened by Mr. Faussett in the latter half of the last century; and it is said that many of his most interesting articles of Saxon antiquity came from this group. Recent excavations only showed how competently Faussett had ransacked them; and the barrow which opened on Tuesday appears to be one which accidentally escaped his detection.There can be little doubt the body it contained was that of a female. The necklace of twenty-four beads, six of which are of amethystine quartz, and the others of glass and baked clay, with the fragments of the metal clasp, were found by the neck. It is a curious circumstance that the largest bead, which is of glass, had been broken, and, on account of some particular value set on it, afterwards mended with a thin hoop of silver.The shears, which appear from several other examples in Lord Londesborough’s collection to have been the usual form of the scissors used by the Anglo-Saxon ladies, were found on the left side of the body, probably hung to the girdle, with the smaller knife, the implement used by ladies in their work, the smaller articles by the side, and some other fragments, which from the unfortunate circumstance that the Saxons made such extensive use of iron, a metal exposed to corrosion, had been reduced to such a condition that no definite idea could be formed of their original purposes.The longer knife was found near the left shoulder, and by it lay the two similarly shaped fragments of bronze, which appear to have formed the ornament of the tip of its sheath, as well as some mere fragments of corroded iron, which belonged either to the fastening of the girdle, or to some box or casket, of which nothing remained but those corroded fragments of metal.

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