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ornamentation. The urns, of whatever kind they may be, are formed of the coarse common clay of the district where made, occasionally mixed with small pebbles and gravel; they are entirely wrought by hand, without the assistance of the wheel, and are, the larger vessels especially, extremely thick. From their imperfect firing, the vessels of this period are usually called “sun-baked “ sun-dried ” but this is a grave error, as any one conversant with examples cannot fail, on careful examination, to see. If the vessels were “sun-baked” only, their burial in the earth-in the tumuli wherein, some two thousand years ago, they were deposited, and where they have all that time remained-would soon soften them, and they would, ages ago, have returned to their old clayey consistency. As it is , the urns have remained of their original form, and although from imperfect baking, they are sometimes found softened, they still retain their form, and soon regain their usual hardness. They bear abundant evidence of the action of fire and are, indeed, sometimes sufficiently burned for the clay to have attained a red colour—a result which no “sun-baking ” could produce. They are mostly of an earthy brown colour outside, and almost black in fracture, and many of the cinerary urns bear internal and unmistakeable evidence of having been filled with the burnt bones and ashes of the deceased, while those ashes were of a glowing and intense heat. They were, most probably, fashioned by the females of the tribe, on the death of their relative, from the clay to be found nearest to the spot, and baked on or by the funeral pyre. The glowing ashes and bones were then collected together, and placed in the urn, and the flint implements and occasionally other relics belonging to the deceased, deposited along with them.
The Cinerary, or Sepulchral, Urns vary very considerably both in size, in form, in ornamentation, and in material—the latter, naturally, depending on the locality where the urns were made—and, as a general rule, they differ also from those of most other districts. Those which are supposed to be the most ancient, from the fact of their frequently containing flint instruments along with the calcined bones, are of large size, ranging from nine or ten, to sixteen or eighteen inches in height. Those which are supposed to belong to a somewhat later period, when cremation had again become general, are of a smaller size, and of a somewhat finer texture. With them objects of flint are rarely found, but articles of bronze are occasionally discovered. The general form of the cinerary urns of the Derbyshire barrows, will be best understood from the annexed engravings.
Their principal characteristic is a deep overlapping border or rim, and their ornamentation, always produced by indenting, or pressing, twisted thongs into the soft clay, or by simple
L. JEWITI, E.S.A 4L SC
incisions, is frequently very elaborate. It usually consists of
diagonal lines arranged in different ways, or of “herringbone” or zig-zag lines, or of reticulations. This ornamentation is usually confined to the overlapping rim and the neck, and to the upper edge of the rim.
Of other shapes found in Derbyshire barrows, and which, as I have said, are unusual in that county, the preceding and the next engraving will serve as illustrative examples. The ornamentation on each is by the pressing of twisted thongs into the pliant clay. The overlapping rim, it will be seen, does not occur on these examples, one of which has the peculiarity, in its central band, of four perforated loops or handles. In this
latter urn a beautiful “ incense cup” (?) to be hereafter spoken of, was found. Possibly these urns were the work of the females of a migratory tribe which was passing through, or making a settlement in, Derbyshire.
The Food Vessels, so called, vary considerably both in form, and in size, and in ornamentation, from the very rudest to the most elegant and elaborate. They are generally wide at the mouth and taper gradually downwards from the central band. They are found both with interments by inhumation, and by cremation-more frequently the former than the latter—and are generally placed near the head of the skeleton. They are generally of from four to six inches in height, and the ornamen
tation is produced by twisted thongs and other indentations. The form of some of these highly intenting vessels will be best
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understood by the engravings here given. The “food vessels” are usually burned to about an equal degree of hardness with the cinerary urns.
The Drinking Cups are the most highly and elaborately ornamented of any of the varieties of fictile art found in the Derbyshire barrows. They are found with the skeleton, and are usually placed behind the shoulder. In size they range from about six to nine inches in height. They are tall in form, contracted in the middle, globular in their lower half, and expanding at the mouth. Their ornamentation, always elaborate, usually covers the whole surface, and is composed of indented lines placed in various ways, so as to form an intricate pattern ; and
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other indentations. The engravings show two excellent examples,—the first from the Hay Top barrow, and the second from a barrow at Grind-Low.
The so called “ Incense Cups ”-a name which ought now to be discarded--are diminutive vessels which, where found at all (which is seldom) are found inside the sepulchral urns, placed on, or among, the calcined bones, and generally themselves also filled with burnt bones. They range from an inch and a half to about three inches in height, and are sometimes highly ornamented, and at others plain.
The three examples here shown, respectively from barrows on Baslow Moor, on Stanton Moor, and at Darley Dale, will
give a good general idea of these curious little vessels which may probably not have been “incense cups” but small urns to receive the ashes of an infant-perhaps sacrificed at the
death of its mother-so as to admit of being placed within the larger urn containing the remains of its parent. The contents of barrows give incontestible evidence of the
practice of sacrificing not only horses, dogs, and oxen, but of human beings, at the graves of