ePub 版

Burying-places, except for some special Persons in groves, and likewise that there hath been an Ancient Habitation about these Parts; for at Buxton also, not a Mile off, urnes have been found in my Memory, but in their Magnitude, Figure, Colour, Posture, &c., there was no small Variety, some were large and capacious, able to contain above Two Gallons, some of a middle, others of a smaller Size; the great ones probably belonging to greater Persons, or might be Family Urnes, fit to receive the Ashes successively of their Kindred and Relations, and therefore of these, some had Coverings of the same Matter, either fitted to them, or a thin fat stone, like a Grave Slate, laid over them; and therefore also great Ones were but thinly found, but others in good Number; some were

short Necks, and bottoms of Three Inches Diameter, and near an Inch thick; some small, with Necks like Juggs, and about that Bigness; the Mouths of some few were not round, but after the Figure of a Circle compressed ; though some had small, yet none had pointed Bottoms, according to the Figures of those which are to be seen in Roma Soterranea, Viginerus, or Mascardus.

In the Colours also there was great Variety, some were Whitish, some Blackish, and inclining to a Blue, others Yellowish, or dark Red, arguing the Variety of their Materials. Some Fragments, and especially Bottoms of Vessels, which seem'd to be handsome neat Pans, were also found of a fine Coral-like red, somewhat like Portugal Vessels, as tho' they had been made out of some fine Bolary Earth, and very smooth; but the like had been found in divers Places, as Dr. Casaubon hath observed about the Pots found at Newington in Kent, and as other Pieces do yet testifie, which are to be found at Burrow Castle, an Old Roman station, not far from Yarmouth.

Of the Urnes, those of the larger Sort, such as had Coverings, were found with their Mouths placed

1 Original Graves.

upwards, but great Numbers of the others were, as they informed me, (and One I saw myself,) placed with their Mouths downward, which were probably such as were not to be opened again, or receive the Ashes of any other Person ; though some wonder'd at this Position, yet I saw no Inconveniency in it; for the Earth being closely pressed, and especially in Minor-mouth'd pots, they stand in a Posture as like to continue as the other, as being less subject to have the Earth fall in, or the Rain to soak into them; and the same Posture has been observed in some found in other places, as Holingshead delivers, of divers found in Anglesea.

Some had Inscriptions, the greatest Part none; those with Inscriptions were of the largest Sort, which were upon the reverted Verges thereof; the greatest part of those which I could obtain were somewhat obliterated; yet some of the Letters to be made out : the Letters were between Lines, either Single or Double, and the Letters of some few after a fair Roman Stroke, others more rudely and illegibly drawn, wherein there seemed no great Variety, NUON being upon very many of them; only upon the inside of the bottom of a small Red Pan-like Vessel, were legibly set down in embossed Letters, CRACUNA. F. which might imply Cracuna figuli, or the Name of the Manufactor, for Inscriptions commonly signified the Name of the Person interr'd, the Names of Servants Official to such Provisions, or the Name of the Artificer, or Manufactor of such Vessels; all which are particularly exemplified by the Learned Licetus,' where the same Inscription is often found, it is probably, of the Artificer, or where the Name also is in the Genitive Case, as he also observeth.

Out of one was brought unto me a Silver Denarius, with the Head of Diva Faustina on the Obverse side, on the Reverse the Figures of the Emperor and Em. press joining their Right Hands, with this Inscription, Concordia; the same is to be seen in Augustino; I

· Vid. Licet. de Lucernis.

also received from some Men and Women then present Coins of Posthumus and Tetricus, two of the Thirty Tyrants in the Reign of Gallienus, which being of much later Date, begat an Inference, that Urne-Burial lasted longer, at least in this Country, than is commonly supposed. Good Authors conceive, that this Custom ended with the Reigns of the Antonini, whereof the last was Antoninus Heliogabalus, yet these Coins extend about Fourscore Years lower; and since the Head of Tetricus is made with a radiated Crown, it must be conceived to have been made after his Death, and not before his Consecration, which as the Learned Tristan Conjectures, was most probably in the Reign of the Emperor Tacitus, and the Coin not made, or at least not issued Abroad, before the Time of the Emperor Probus, for Tacitus Reigned but Six Months and an Half, his Brother Florianus but Two Months, unto whom Probus succeeding, Reigned Five Years.

There were also found some pieces of Glass, and finer Vessels, which might contain such Liquors as they often Buried in, or by, the Urnes ; divers Pieces of Brass, of several Figures; and in one Urne was found a Nail Two Inches long; whither to declare the Trade or Occupation of the Person, is uncertain. But upon the Monuments of Smiths, in Gruter, we meet with the Figures of Hammers, Pincers, and the like; and we find the Figure of a Cobler's Awl on the Tomb of one of that Trade, which was in the Custody of Berini, as Argulus hath set it down in his Notes upon Onuphrius, Of the Antiquities of Verona.

Now, though Urnes have been often discovered in former Ages, many think it strange there should be many still found, yet assuredly there may be great Numbers still concealed. For tho' we should not reckon upon any who were thus buried before the Time of the Romans (altho' that the Druids were thus buried, it may be probable, and we read of the Urne of Chindonactes, a Druid, found near Dijon in Burgundy, largely discoursed of by Licetus), and tho', I say, we take not in any Infant which was Minor igne rogi, before Seven Months, or Appearance of Teeth, nor should account this Practice of burning among the Britains higher than Vespasian, when it is said by Tacitus, that they conformed unto the Manners and Customs of the Romans, and so both Nations might have one Way of Burial; yet from his Days, to the Dates of these Urnes, were about Two Hundred Years. And therefore if we fall so low, as to conceive there were buried in this Nation but Twenty Thousand Persons, the Account of the buried Persons would amount unto Four Millions, and consequently so great a Number of Urnes dispersed through the Land, as may still satisfy the Curiosity of succeeding Times, and arise unto all Ages.

The bodies, whose Reliques these Urnes contained,

there were found few Fragments of Bones, but rather Ashes in hard Lumps, and pieces of Coals, which were often so fresh, that one sufficed to make a good draught of its Urne, which still remaineth with me.

Some persons digging at a little Distance from the Urne Places, in hopes to find something of Value, after they had digged about Three-Quarters of a Yard deep, fell upon an observable Piece of Work. The Work was Square, about Two Yards and a Quarter on each Side. The Wall, or outward Part, a Foot thick, in Colour Red, and looked like Brick; but it was solid, without any Mortar or Cement, or figur'd Brick in it, but of an whole Piece, so that it seemed to be Framed and Burnt in the same place where it was found. In this kind of Brick-work were Thirty-two Holes, of about Two Inches and an Half Diameter, and Two above a Quarter of a Circle in the East and West Sides. Upon Two of these Holes, on the East Side, were placed Two Pots, with their Mouths down, ward; putting in their Arms they found the Work hollow below, and the Earth being clear'd off, much Water was found below them, to the Quantity of a Barrel, which was conceived to have been the

Rain-water which soaked in through the Earth above them.

The upper Part of the Work being broke, and opened, they found a Floor about Two Foot below, and then digging onward, Three Floors successively under one another, at the Distance of a Foot and Half, the Stones being of a Slatty, not Bricky, Substance; in these Partitions some Pots were found, but broke by the Workmen, being necessitated to use hard Blows for the breaking of the Stones; and in the last Partition but one, a large Pot was found of a very narrow Mouth, short Ears, of the Capacity of Fourteen Pints, which lay in an inclining Posture, close by, and somewhat under a kind of Arch in the solid Wall, and by the great Care of my worthy Friend, Mr. William Masham, who employed the Workmen, was taken up whole, almost full of Water, clean, and without Smell, and insipid, which being poured out, there still remains in the Pot a great Lump of an heavy crusty substance. What Work this was we must as yet reserve unto better Conjecture. Meanwhile we find in Gruter that some Monuments of the Dead had divers Holes successively to let in the Ashes of their Relations, but Holes in such a great Number to that Intent, we have not anywhere met with.

About Three Months after, my Noble and Honoured friend, Sir Robert Paston, had the Curiosity to open a Piece of Ground in his Park at Oxnead, which adjoined unto the former Field, where Fragments of Pots were found, and upon one the Figure of a wellmade Face; But probably this Ground had been opened and digged before, though out of the Memory of Man, for we found divers small Pieces of Pots, Sheeps Bones, sometimes an Oyster-shell a Yard deep in the Earth, an unusual Coin of the Emperor Volusianus, having on the Obverse the head of the Emperor, with a Radiated Crown, and this Inscription, Imp. Cæs. C. Volusiano Aug.; that is, Imperatori Cæsari Caio Vibio Volusiano Augusto. On the Reverse an Human Figure, with the Arms somewhat extended, and at the

« 上一頁繼續 »