Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/326

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

A HISTORY OF SURREY boss. Though of extraordinary form it may be compared with the specimen mentioned above from Croydon, and is now preserved in the Ashmolean Museum. Near the left shoulder of the same skeleton was a bucket, the staves of which were bound together by iron hoops a good deal broken and corroded, and a small buckle 1 for a strap was also found. In a neighbouring grave near the left shoulder of the skeleton was discovered a drinking cup l (fig. 6) of wooden staves ornamented at top and bottom with thin bands of bronze gilt embossed with serpentine inter- lacings (fig. 6a), while the edges are bound by other strips of bronze attached by three transverse bands at the top and bottom. Fragments of this cup with the sword and some other objects are now preserved at Croydon. Though buckets of similar construction are commonly found in graves of this period and have been already noticed more than once in the vicinity, drinking cups of this character are extremely rare, and the only perfect specimen in the British Museum at all comparable is the remarkable vessel from Long Wittenham, Berks, which has scenes from the Gospel history embossed round the outside. There is however in the national collection the upper brim of a wooden vessel which so closely resembles the gilt mount found at Farthingdown that the vessels may be supposed to have been of the same form and origin. It was found at Faversham and is included in the Gibbs collection. Below the three strips that cross the rim are grotesque human heads in bold relief that are strikingly realistic for the period, but the embossed ornament round the cup is composed of the dislocated limbs of the quadruped so commonly found in Anglo-Saxon ornament of the early time. In this respect it differs from the Surrey specimen, the design on which a con- sists of a continuous interlacing band in the form of a serpent, the head at least being as plainly discernible as in a somewhat similar design on an Anglo-Saxon brooch found at Standlake, Oxon, 8 and on a jewel found at Hardingstone, Northants. 4 The excavations in the former case were of special interest and were thoroughly carried out by John Yonge Akerman, who observed that in nearly every case the skeletons were lying with the feet pointing a little south of east. One burial pointing north-east and south-west, though the direction of the head is not stated, suggests a further comparison with some of the Surrey cemeteries ; and the Hardingstone jewel has representations of a fish which may be regarded as a well known Christian symbol. Among other graves examined on Farthingdown was one probably of a young girl, in which was found a small iron buckle l and six glass beads 1 of various colours. This seems to have been the only occurrence of beads in the whole cemetery, and their scarcity in the burials of Surrey may mark some difference either of race or condition between 1 Figured in the original account of the excavations.

  • A coloured drawing is given in Surrey drcbieohgical Collections, vi. pi. iii. 113.

8 Figured in Proceedings, Society of Antiquaries, iv. 93-6.

  • Figured in Victoria History ofNorthants, vol. i.