University of Oxford

File(s) not publicly available

Kingston Down Grave 46

online resource
posted on 2021-11-10, 15:29 authored by Helena HamerowHelena Hamerow
A very small tumulus; grave as the last; but at least four and a half feet deep. The bones very sound; the skull small but firm; the teeth remarkably even, strongly fixed, and white. The coffin appeared to have been thick and much burnt. Near the skull, and within the coffin, was a beautiful urn of greenish glass [M 6118], corded to the bottom of its neck, and round at the bottom; so that it could not have stood upright without some support[1]; it is finely coated with the armatura or electrum, both within and without; I imagine it will hold about half a pint. By the neck of the skeleton there were two amethysts, like drops of modern ear-rings; they are perforated longitudinally, and exactly like that which I have described at No. 6. Here were also, with them, two slender silver rings, like those described at No. 7; and seven earthen beads, of different colours: a large irregular cut amber one; and also a piece of a very thin, bracteated, silver ornament for the neck (or perhaps amulet), having a small loop of the same metal to hang it by. I do not doubt but it was whole when found; but it was so very rotten that it came to pieces with the least touch: these all lay on the left side of the neck. Here were also several iron links of a small and slender chain, all rusted into a lump: the blade of a knife; and several nail-like and other bits of iron. Doubtless a woman's grave.[1]Varieties of these peculiar goblets will be found in plates 18 and 19 [see images of objects below]. They agree very closely with those depicted as held in the palm of the hand in festive scenes in early illuminated manuscripts. From the fact that they required to be emptied before they could be replaced upon the table, they were well suited to the habits of our Saxon forefathers; of whom, love of strong drink was a characteristic. To these footless goblets we may probably trace the origin of our modern tumbler.- C.R.S.


Usage metrics

    The Novum Inventorium Sepulchrale


    Ref. manager