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Sibertswold Downs Grave 69

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posted on 2021-11-10, 14:42 authored by Helena HamerowHelena Hamerow
Large tumulus; grave very large, and five feet deep; the coffin appeared to have been very thick, and to have passed the fire; the bones were almost gone. Near the head, or rather, the right shoulder, were the remains of two small wooden bowls, or drinking cups[1] as they seemed. One of these was two inches and a half diameter at the rim or lip, which was bound with a narrow brass edging [M 8475]. This vessel appeared, by some of the pieces, to have been wider at the belly and narrower again towards its foot. The other [M 6467]seemed to have been of about the same shape and dimensions; but it had not only a brass edging round its mouth, like the former, but it had also several little narrow fillets of brass which held the edging fast on, and reached about an inch and a quarter both without and within, down the sides, and were riveted together through the side of the vessel with three small rivets each: there were, also, many little brass staples, each about five-eighths of an inch long; these seem to have been riveted into the sides of it in order to mend some cracks or other deficiencies, being placed in no regular order. I think they were drinking cups, and might have contained about a pint each. Below the feet of the grave was exactly such an iron instrument as is described at No. 10; the iron handle and clasp of a box, as before; and some rotten wood, which had not passed the fire, as of a box.[1]That the ancients made some of their drinking cups of wood may be gathered from a passage in Virgil, Eclog. iii, 36. The Germans, Caesar tells us, highly esteemed the horns of the beasts called uri, and made them into cups, which they bound with silver:-\hæc ss studiose conquisita ab labris argento circumcludunt atque in amplissimis epulis pro us poculis utuntur.\" Bell. Gall. lib. vi cap. 28. - B.F."


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