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Crundale Grave 9
online resourceposted on 10.11.2021, 14:58 by Helena HamerowHelena Hamerow
We next came to a large urn, or ossuary, of coarse black earth [M 6795]; it contains about a gallon and a half, and is nine inches high, and ten inches diameter; it was almost full of burnt bones, coals, and ashes, which were so mortared and cemented together, from the calcination of the bones and the dampness of the that I found some difficulty in getting them out of the urn without breaking it. Among them was a very beautiful fibula of brass, entirely perfect [M 6772]. Here was also in this nest a narrow-necked bottle-like vessel of reddish coarse earth [M 6792]: it is nine inches and a half high, and seven inches diameter, and holds about five pints. In this vessel, on searching it and cleaning it, after I got it home, I found the bones of some small animal, and from the skull, I at first imagined it to have been a squirrel, and that it might have been purposely buried with the person here interred; as we know it was the custom of the ancients to bury such things (even animals) with the dead as they took pleasure in when they were alive (see Browne's Urn-burial, p. 9); but it is more likely that they were the remains of some mole, who, having gotten into the vessel, could not get out again. Here was also a patera of'fine red earth, exactly like that before described at No. 4, except that this is something broader and deeper, and has not only: a different maker's name impressed on the inside, namely, AELI. MA., but has also the word wrote on its bottom, near the centre of the foot, with some sharp pointed instrument; it has also a x on its outside [M 6744]. Here was also a small urn of a coarsish dark-coloured earth ; it is four inches high, and three inches and a quarter diameter, and holds about half a pint; it is spotted with black [M 6794 ]. All these I got out whole, except the patera, which is a good deal broken. Here was also the blade of a knife, as it seems, among the bones.This seems to be aeli. manv, the letters of the latter word being in ligature.- C.R.S.Sacrina; probably the name of the possessor. - C.R.S.The peculiarities of this vessel enable us to assign its manufacture to the pottery on the banks of the Medway, opposite Upchurch, where large quantities of similar ware have been found. See Catalogue of the Museum of London Antiquities, p. 20.- C.R.S.The blade of a knife is a most unusual object to be found in a Roman interment; while, on the contrary, it is almost invariably to be met with in the Saxon graves. We shall see, as we proceed, that this cemetery contained Saxon as well as Roman graves; and in taking into consideration the probable connection between the two, the cessation of the Roman and the commencement of the Saxon, this knife affords a fact on which may hang much speculation. At the same time it must be considered that, although such implements were not usually consigned to the earth with the ashes of the departed, knives of a precisely similar kind were commonly used by the Romans, and from some accidental cause, one may have been thrown into the urn.- C.R.S.
Date excavated14th June, 1757
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