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Guilton Grave 41
online resourceposted on 10.11.2021, 15:13 by Helena HamerowHelena Hamerow
Grave as the last, and near four feet deep. Much black dust and wood coal: the remains of a very thick coffin; the bones were much more entire than any I have yet found at this place; and by the teeth (which were the only whole set I have yet met with), they seemed to have been the bones of a middle aged person. Near the neck were thirty-five small beads of glass and baked earth, of several colours: also three larger striped earthen beads, and an amethyst drop of an earring [M 6086], as it seems. Near these, but rather more toward the feet, were five or six slender rings, like those heretofore described at No. 27. They had, like those, each of them a kind of sliding knot, in order to their fitting either a larger or a smaller finger. They seemed to be of silver, but were so rotten as to break and, as it were, crumble with the least touch. With these were found a small silver fibula subnectens, set with four garnets, round an hemisphere of ivory [M 6058], as it seems: it is figured and gilded in the intervals, like those before described; and a square silver ornament, also gilded; it has in it a bird, in open work [M 6059]: I imagine it has been part of a clasp; at one corner of it is a small silver rivet. From the hips, downward, were a great many small iron links, many of them concatenated; some of these were found lying more singly, the rest of them were rusted into a lump, as at No. 27, and among them, as at that number, were six or seven, if not more, brass pins or instruments, exactly like those there described. There was also the blade of a small knife, and a small brass buckle, as in No. 10. At the feet, but not in the coffin, was a beautiful, small, roundish urn of green glass, which held about half a pint: it was, according to custom, broken to pieces by the workmen. In it, or very near it, was a small gold coin of the emperor Justinian [M 6060]. On one side is his head, very uncouthly done: he has a cross on his breast, and this legend, IVSTINIANVS. N.; on the reverse is a winged Victory, and this very unintelligible legend (at least to me), viz., TIVNTITA-VM. CONO.: I can, for my own part, make nothing else out of it, but that it was struck at Constantinople:it is very fair and weighs just twenty-two grains. Certainly a woman's grave. This coin is perforated, and had been used as an ornament. The presence of coins in graves such as these is always important; and especially so when they are, as in this instance, of a late date. Justinian reigned from A.D. 527 to A.D. 565; the coin must therefore decide that the interment could not possibly have been made previous to the former of these dates. But as it happens that this piece of money, although bearing the effigies of Justinian, is a barbarous imitation, and had been, apparently for some time, worn as a personal ornament, it may be considered that the interment may have been made at some considerable time subsequent to the reign of this prince.- C.R.S.
Date excavated11th and 12th of April, 1760
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