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Kingston Down Grave 53

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posted on 10.11.2021, 15:29 by Helena HamerowHelena Hamerow
Tumulus and grave much as the last. The bones pretty perfect; the teeth sound and regular; but not all cut: the coffin much burnt. Near the neck were five small beads, which, with the least pressure, fell into dust; and three slender silver rings, with sliding knots as before: and, a little lower down (viz., towards the right breast), was a very beautiful comb, made either of ivory or bone [M 6109]: I think of the former. It is about seven inches long, and is very prettily cut and wrought.[1] I, unluckily, broke it all to pieces in getting it out; for being much of the colour of the bones, I took it for such; and so, was not so careful of it as I should have been, if I had, in the least, suspected what it was; but perceiving my mistake, I carefully collected as many of the fragments as I could find; and there happening to be but few pieces of it missing, I have glued them together in such a manner, as that the true shape and figure for the comb is luckily preserved. I count it a very great curiosity. Here were also many slender, twisted, iron links of a chain, as before; several little brass instruments as at No. 13; and several nails. Certainly a woman's grave.[1]This and another comb found at Kingston resemble some examples in my collection of London Antiquities, which were found with Roman remains. Combs are among the rarest of the objects of antiquity which have come down to us. It will bve observed that comparatively only a few of the Saxon graves opened by Mr. Faussett contained combs. Not many were found in the cemetery at Wilbraham, where they are recorded, by Mr. Neville, as being with burnt bones in urns. A comb was in one of the Saxon urns found at Newark, Col. Ant. vol. ii, p. 232; and one was found in a similar situation in the Saxon burial-place on Marston Hill, in Northamptonshire.- C.R.S.

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