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colours, and others of amber, on the láp. A
single amber bead at the neck. Skeleton No. 40. An adult. At the feet a bone spindle socket
which had evidently been turned in' a lathe. On the breast two 'small "cup-shaped 'bronze fibulæ (Fig. 7) (like, but of better workmanship thản, two figured in the Winchester Vol. of the Brit. Archæol. 'Assoc., pl. 3, fig. 2). Amongst the bones of the fingers of the left 'hand a silver ring of 'solid form :'another of spiral form, and a plain gold'ring. In the lap, 'a bronze ' fibula of latér 'Roman form,
(Fig. 8) beads, 'a comb, and iron knife. 42. On each shoulder a Bronze gilt fibula, with blue
glass beads 'in the centre: 'a bronze pin on
right side. 48. A young person, 5 feet 7 inches. Under the
right shoulder, a knife of the usual form, a fork (Fig. 9) with handle of deer's horn, a pin of deer's horn, pair of bronze tweezers,
and a steel for striking a light. 52. Legs crossed at the anklės. A latten clasp at
doubled. Knife under fore arm.
"Another fibula on the shoulder.
peculiar form. A bronze ring (Fig. 10) and a broad iron buckle, at the waist. Fibula at
the collar bones, with other relics. Two things appear to Mr. Akerman to be peculiar to the interments at Harnham Hill. 1st. The very obvious regularity and order in which the bodies had been laid. With few 'exceptions and
A nearly some of these appeared to be accidental) the skeletons lay due East and West (the heads to the west). One body was found doubled up lying north and south; but this may have been owing to some unintentional dislocation after burial. 2ndly. It seems to have been the practice at this cemetery to excavate the alluvial soil down to the chalk bed on which the body was then laid. This mode differs from that which is usual in the Anglo-Saxon graves of Kent and Sussex, where a cist (or grave) is formed in the chalk below the base of the tumulus.
No trace of a coffin was discovered. The greater part of the bodies were protected by large flint stones, placed in coffin-like frames, and among the earth in more immediate contact with the remains, were found fragments of pottery of an earlier age. Some of these fragments were clearly of Roman or of Romano-British fabric. They were not the broken remains of earthenware vessels that had been deposited entire in the graves, but merely fragments thrown over it to fill up. In illustration of this custom, as one derived from times antecedent to Christian burial, the passage in Shakespeare's play of Hamlet is referred to, in which the Priest, in spite of “Crowner's quest law,” expresses his own belief that Ophelia had committed “felo de se," and ought to have been buried like a Pagan.
“Her death was doubtful :
Act. V., Sc. 1. It may have been the case in England that such a mark of reproach accompanied the burial of those who, in the gravedigger's words, had “wilfully sought their own salvation;" but the passage applies in the first instance to Denmark, where Ophelia was buried.
In some of the skeletons the jaws were found perfectly closed. In many this office appeared to have been neglected.
Mr. Akerman also observes that several of the skeletons were unaccompanied by the common Anglo-Saxon characteristic, the knife; and in fact by any relic whatsoever. Neither was there a single example of the sword, so generally met with in Anglo-Saxon interments, nor, excepting the beads, any glass. A gold ring exactly resembling a modern wedding ring, found on No. 40, is stated to be unique in a burial of this period.
The fork (Fig. 9) placed with the knife under the arm of skeleton No. 48 is of very rare occurrence. The only other instance of the discovery of one that from its size may be supposed to have been used for eating with, was in the year 1837, at the small hamlet of Sevington in the parish of Leigh-Delamere, in North Wilts (Fig. 11). An account, with an engraving of it, was published in the Archæologia. Some labourers making a drain at the back of Mr. Gough's farm house discovered at the depth of two or three feet the decayed remains of a box, in which had been deposited seventy Saxon pennies of A.D. 806-890, with various relics all of Saxon manufacture, and amongst them a silver two-pronged fork and spoon, both of one style of workmanship; the spoon having traces of Runic work upon it, which were not seen in the fork. The genuineness of an Anglo-Saxon silver fork was naturally at first disputed, but all the other objects being unquestionably of that period, there is no reason for denying the same antiquity to the fork. We have now another specimen in the Harnham excavations : but this is of iron with a buckhorn handle, much less elegant in its shape than the Sevington curiosity.1
1 How the world contrived until comparatively a late period to get through its dinners, especially its hot ones, without the help of so useful, and to us essential, an instrument as a fork, is a matter of astonishment. But such appears to have been the case. If an expression used by Horace is to be understood as of general application, we must infer that in the Augustan age, and even at the very Augustan dinner table itself, he achieved his repasts “manibus unctis," with greasy fingers. Still, specimens of ancient Roman forks have occasionally been met with in Italy, and the modern use seems to have been adopted by us from that country. Tom Coryate, the odd traveller of A.D. 1600, was one of the first who introduced it. He says that “he observed a custom in all those Italian cities and towns through which he passed, that was not used in any other country that he saw in his travels, neither did he think that any other nation of
The finding of buckles, rings, beads, &c., upon the several parts, of the skeleton to which, when it was clothed with flesh, they had ,
Christendom used it, but only Italy. “The Italian” (he says) "and also most strangers that are commorant in Italy, doe alwaies at their meales use a little forke when they cut the meate: for while with their knife, which they hold with one hand, they cut the meat out of the dish, they fasten the fork which they hold in their other hand upon the same dish, so that whatsoever he be that sitteth in the company of others at meate, if he should unadvisedly touch the dish of meate with his fingers, from which all at the table do cut, he will give occasion of offence unto the company, as having transgressed the laws of good manners. This forme of feeding, I understand, is generally used in all places of Italy, their forks being for the most part made of iron or steel, and some of silver, but those are used only by gentlemen. The reason of this their curiosity is, because the Italian cannot by any means, endure to have his dish touched by fingers, seeing all men's fingers are not alike clean. Hereupon I myself thought good' to imitate the Italian fashion by this forked cutting of meat, not only when I was in Italy, but also in Germany, and oftentimes in England since I came home: being once quipped for that frequent using of my fork, by a certain learned gentleman, a familiar friend of mine, one Mr. Laurence Whitaker, who in his merry humour doubted not to call me Furcifer, only for using a fork at feeding, but for no other cause.” (The word was equivocal, and signified also a ROGUE.) It is therefore clear that in Coryate's time, forks were not ysed in. England. Indeed Heylin ( Cosmography, Bk. 111.) speaks in 1652 of șilver forks “having been taken up of late by some of our spruce gallants from Italy.” Bụt King Edward I. had been the happy.owner of one, of which special mention is made in the inventory of his plate, chest.. Piers. Gavęston, the favourite of the next reign, could boast of four: which, we are particularly. told, were for “eating of pears.” John Duke of Brittany also had one, of silver, “to pick up sops from his pottage mayhap.” Before the days of forks a round-ended knife assisted the proverbial fingers of the eater. The carver of a smoking joint seems to have had nothing for it but to manage as he could, with his left hand. Our cooks still send up their haunch of mutton or their ham, with an inviting handle of ornamented paper round the bone, as if they still expected us to lay hold of it ”more majorum.” In, an ancient “Book of Carving,” the operator is directed so to do, but with a certain delicacy. “Never set on fish, flesh, beast, nor fowl more than two fingers and a thumb!” A joint was sometimes brought to table still on the spit,
Harnham and Sevington therefore bear witness to the occasional use of the fork at a much earlier period than is commonly supposed.
For the interment of such rare property, we can really suggest only one reason. As it was a custom amongst Anglo-Saxons to deposit in the grave articles to the use of which the owner had been partial during his lifetime, it is a fair inference that the individual at the former place who took his knife and fork away with him was one who had found a special gratification in the use of, those instruments when above ground. He would also seem to have been
been attached, is of course easily explained by the circumstance that the Anglo-Saxons were buried not in grave-clothes, but." in 1 their habit as they lived:” the man with his arms and accoutret, ments, especially the long sword and shield ; the woman with her i finery (not her best we would hope), and the articles of her toilette.:.
The girdle ornament (Fig. 4), found with skeleton No. 28; is ao novelty. It appeared to have been stamped from a die: and when first brought to light, the gilding was as bright as when it was new. Another kind of fastening for a belt, was similar to one recently adopted in France for parasols and umbrellas.
The steel for striking a light has been found in graves in Laplandii and Germany: and is accounted for by a superstitious belief, that the presence of fire would keep away evil spirits. The sheep's knucklebone had probably been an equally efficient preservative against the conyulsions to which the unhappy proprietor of the bones : No. 28 had been subject.1 :
With respect to the date of these interments, Mr. Akerman is off opinion that it is to be fixed at some point between the latter part of the fifth century (the first settlement of the Saxons in this district): and the middle of the seventh; (when they were converted to Christianity).
prematurely interrupted in his favourite exercise : for upon the anatomical: examination of the skeleton by whose side the knife and fork, were found, the molar teeth appeared to be “rather less worn” than those of many of his companions.
1 In: Anglo-Saxon interments, a single bucket-shaped wooden vessel has been occasionally discovered of which we find no instance hitherto at Harnham. At i first it was supposed to be the remains of a headpiece or crown: but further examinations have rather shown it to be a substitute for the Roman urn. In the neighbourhood of Marlborough one of these was found, as recorded by Sir R. C. Hoare. [“ Ancient Wilts, vol. II., p. 34, pl, wi.] It was made of substantial oak, plated with thịn brass, ribbed with iron hoops, had two iron : handles, one at each side, and a hollow bar of iron placed across the mouth, and affixed to two pieces projecting above the upper rim of the vessel. ' The surface was curiously ornamented with grotesque human heads, animals, &c., embossed in the metal plating. The dimensions were, height 21 inches, diameter 24 inches. It contained a deposit of burned human bones. [See Arch. Journal, 1851, p. 176].