Books, Prehistory, Ten Years' Digging, Samuel Carrington 1853

Samuel Carrington 1853 is in Ten Years' Digging.

Barrows Opened By Mr. Carrington In 1853.

Books, Prehistory, Ten Years' Digging, Samuel Carrington 1853, Castern

On the 17th of April we re-opened the barrow at Little Lea, Castern, which was first examined on the 20th July, 1848, when our excavation was confined to the centre. We now began to dig at the south side, and continued to do so in a direction concentric with the former cutting till we reached the eastern quarter of the barrow, where at the depth of half a yard we found a deposit of calcined human bones, which were partly contained in a funnel-shaped hole, near two feet deep and a foot wide at the top, into which the bones and the heated embers of the funeral pyre had been thrust, without any separation having been made. The deposit being mixed with a great deal of charcoal, both in masses and in powder, and with small stones reduced to lime, was so much increased in quantity as not merely to fill the hole made for its reception, but also to form a heap above and around it. The following article had accompanied the corpse through its fiery preparation for the grave, and were deposited with its remains — a few shreds or broken pieces of an urn; a neat bone pin, upwards of four inches long; and about a do^en instruments of flint, mostly of neat manufacture, but nearly all destroyed by the fierceness of the fire to which they had been exposed: one, however, is perfect, and is a fine circular-ended implement, three inches long. We have here our attention arrested by the fact that portions of earthen vessels were sometimes burnt along with human bodies, as it is to be observed that the fragments found with this deposit have evidently been submitted to a great heat since thdr fracture, and also that, had anything like an entire vessel been interred, its fragments would doubtless have been discovered among the ashes. I have long surmised that this was a custom observed in some particular and perhaps exceptional cases, but have not paid suflScient attention to the state of fragments of pottery when newly discovered until of late. I fibad, however, a few well-marked examples of burnt fragments in the collection at Lomberdale, derived from deposits of calcined bone, as at Arbor Low in 1845, and in one instance from an incinerated interment within an urn (see barrow on Ballidon Moor, 30th July, 1849).

In illustration of this, we reprint the following from a letter communicated in 1845, by the Rev. Ferdinand Keller, President of the Society of Antiquaries of Zurich, to Sir Henry Ellis, explanatory of an obscure passage in Shakspere, Hamlet Act V., Scene 1, wherein it is said that — "In almost all the accounts of the opening of Pagan sepulchres and tumuli, mention is made of the discovery of fragments of pottery strewn in the soil, which appear to be portions of vessels similar to such as are often found by the side of the human remains interred in these tombs, and consist of earthenware, not baked in a kihi, but imperfectly hardened by a fire. These potsherds are found in sepulchres where there are no urns, and are almost always fragments of different vessels. Archaeologists have considered them to be the relics of the Lyke-wake held at the funeral. Kleeman observes that it was customary to bring the corpse to the place of interment dad in festive garments, and show it to the friends; a banquet then commenced, and a share was offered to the deceased. The revelry must have been of a very lively character (?) from the quantity of broken pottery found in these tombs. (See the "Handbook of German Antiquities," Dresden, 1836, p. 94.) Another remarkable circumstance in connection with Pagan places of burial is the discovery of flints, which are found in all parts of the tumulus, but chiefly over the skeleton, varying considerably in size. This fact has been noticed by antiquarians, who do not appear to have recognised the observance of a heathen custom, and have not ascertained whether it may be regarded as characteristic of the customs of Celtic or Germanic tribes. These traces of ancient usages appear to throw light on a passage in Hamlet hitherto unexplained. At the burial of Ophelia, Hamlet remarking that the usual rites were not observed, supposes that the deceased had perished by her own hand. Upon this, Laertes enquires with what rites the corpse is to be interred, and the priest replies that her death had been doubtful; that, but for the command that her obsequies should be otherwise ordered, the corpse should have rested in unconsecrated soil; and for charitable prayers shards, flints and pebbles should be thrown on her.' Mr. Keller supposes that Shakspere had in view some ancient usage, retained possibly in some part of England, in accordance with which those who, like Pagans, had laid violent hands upon tliemselyes, were buried with ceremonies peculiar to the heathens. Amongst such sepulchral usages that of scattering flints and potsherds over the corpse, as shown by the examination of tumuli in Switzerland and Southern Germany, appears to have been observed. Mr. Keller remarked, that if English archasologists succeed in determining to which of the two ancient races of their island the customs recorded in this passage of Shakspere may be ascribed, some light may thereby be thrown on the origin of those sepulchral remains on the Continent which had given rise to so much dispute."

As far as our experience has given an opportunity of coming to a decision, we should imhesitatingly say that the Celtic origin of the custom is demonstrated in the course of the present volume. The fragmentary pottery, the flints, and the pebbles, to which we would add the teeth of oxen, have been all but universally present in the earlier tumuli opened in the course of our researches.

On the 24th of May, 1858, an attempt was made to open a barrow on the eminence near the Compton Road, Ashbourne, by digging a circular pit in the centre. The natural soil appeared at the depth of three feet, and it was evident that the whole of the middle had been before disturbed, as pieces of decayed wood were mixed with the earth; still the interment must have escaped observation, no trace of bone or fire being visible, as would have been the case if its whereabouts had been discovered. The barrow, where undisturbed about the central excavation, exhibited a section of sandy earth, resting on a foundation of boulders. Violent rain, accompanied by a strong westerly wind, compelled us to abandon the search, after having found a few casual flints, one of which is a piece from the middle of very superior celt, or other large weapon, that has been fractured by exposure to heat.

Notice Of Desultory Excavations On The Site Of A Romano-British Village, Near Wetton.

As far back as the year 1845, Mr. Carrington opened a very small barrow in a field in his occupation, called the Borough Hole. The mound was not more than nine feet across, or raised above one foot above the surrounding land, but contained a skeleton, extended at full length, accompanied by a spear and knife of iron. About the same time, he also found a small brass coin of Gallienus, with an antelope on the reverse; and a curious article made of two semi-circular bars of lead, each perforated at both ends, as if intended for a collar, meant to be tied together when round the neck. Stimulated by these discoveries, Mr. Carrington turned over a considerable part of the field in the beginning of August, 1848. The soil appeared to have been anciently disturbed to the depth of eighteen inches, and in some places were remains of pavements, of thin limestone slabs, which had undergone the action of fire; about them were many pieces of pottery, both of coarse and imperfectly-baked vessels, and of more highly-finished ware, exhibiting a Roman character. Numerous large pebbles of grit and ironstone, pieces of bone, both human and animal, and a few instruments of iron, amongst which were a slender fibula and a small knife, were found about the pavements.

In the beginning of September, a curious rectangular limestone was found at the bottom of the disturbed ground, about eighteen inches beneath the turf It measures twelve inches long, eight wide, and two and a half thick; is of black limestone, the surface coated with a kind of porous shale, the result of decomposition; and on the face are numerous incised lines, crossing each other in different directions, and continned round the edge. Its use is uncertain.

On the 22nd July, 1849, was found a very beautiful bronze fibula, of the harp-shaped kind, with a lozengy pattern, enamelled yellow and red down the front.

In addition to the above short notices, the following account of all the discoveries made in the Borough Fields, from the first casual finding of the skeleton to the results of a systematic course of excavation begun in 1852, has been drawn up by Mr. Carrington, whose connected and lively narrative will be read with pleasure. A few particulars mentioned in the above are omitted m the narrative, so that we have decided to retain the former, at the risk of a very slight amount of repetition.

Mr Carrington Upon A Romano-British Settlement, Near Wetton, Staffordshire.

There are certain fields in the village of Wet ton, known by the name of the Borough Hole, which name we may venture to say has for centuries conveyed no other idea to the occupiers thereof than that of a rabbit warren. Other etymologists trace the derivation of borough, or burrow, from the fact that the habitations of the ancient Britons, like those of the Ethiopian Troglodytes, were frequently placed underground. But neither pits nor caves have ever existed in these fields, and the Britons who located themselves here have burrowed no deeper than the surface of the rock, which is to be found at no great distance below the turf. The name of the fields is undoubtedly derived from the Saxon, burh being the name applied by that people to any place, great or small, town or village, that was fortified by walls or mounds of earth. The settlement in this case was apparently protected in the latter manner, for no traces of walls are to be found at the present day in the banks surrounding it. Attention was first directed to the place by observing small mounds and low banks in various parts of the fields, which, being dug into, disclosed soil of a darker colour than elsewhere, intermixed with loose stones, many of which were boulders of sandstone, ironstone, and other rocks foreign to the soil. Eventually the sites of many dwellings have been discovered, both along the ridges and also in other places where no outward irregularity was perceptible. The precise situation of each house was indicated by the pavement of rough limestone, which had formed the floor, remaining either entire or in part; or else by a sunken surface, covered with ashes or charcoal, broken pottery, the teeth, bones, and horns of animals that had been used as food; burnt stones, and other vestiges of human occupation. The discoveries yet made afford no evidence of the station having been occupied prior to the Roman conquest; neither have we yet met with any traces of the Saxon period, further than the name of the fields, as before stated. Still it was undoubtedly a settlement, which was inhabited for a considerable length of time; but when, and under what circumstances it was finally abandoned, we have no means of ascertaining. It is certain, however, that the removal was quiet and deliberate, for had it been otherwise we should have doubtless found a greater quantity of their household utensils in a more perfect state than has been the case, as the greater part of what we have found, such as earthenware, small millstones, &c. are such as have been cast aside after having been broken and rendered useless^ Not only have the living had their abodes or burrows in these fields, but the dead have had their barrows. A small mound, which covered a human skeleton, accompanied by a spear-head apd knife, both of iron, was broken up in the Spring of 1845; and two more interments have been found, in the same field, during the present year (1852).

Although they had evidently profited in some respects firom contact with their Roman invaders, they were still Pagans, who buried their dead after the fashion of their more barbarous progenitors. The funeral pyre still blazed, haply to introduce the shades of their deceased friends with becoming honours into the presence of Baal, or some other grim and imaginary deity; or, perhaps, they sought by a more revolting sacrifice to propitiate his capricious wrath, or to bribe his exorable justice. The bones of various animals that had not undergone the action of fire, as well as fragments of other bones which had been nearly consumed, accompanied the remains of those who had been committed to the earth here, along with their weapons and ornaments. It was in the year 1848 that these fields were first conclusively ascertained to contain the site of a British town or settlement, and that the systematic excavations were attempted, which have still been followed up, at intervals, until the present year (1852), during which time the greater part of two of the fields, and a portion of the third, have been turned up by those most successful solvers of archaeological problems, the pickaxe and shovel, by the operations of which so many floors of huts — in rows or streets, as well as standing detached — have been found as to constitute the locality the very Pompeii of North Staffordshire. It is likewise very probable that more of these pavements yet remain undiscovered, as their presence is not always indicated by any outward sign on the surface of the land. Many banks and irregularities are also visible in the neighbouring fields which have not been in any degree investigated. Oiur first labours were employed upon a moimd at the lower part of the largest field, which is between the other two to which the diggings have at present been restricted. This mound, which in appearance is somewhat like a tumulus, is composed of earth of a deeper colour than that which prevails in the district, mingled with limestones and gritstone boulders, some, of which were much burned. In some places, at the depth of eighteen inches from the surface, a pavement of rough limestones was discovered, which, from the intense heat of the fires that had been kindled upon it, was reduced to lime, so that the spade passed through it with facility. Heaps of charcoal and ashes were found here, especially in a place where a few large blocks of stone were lying on the floor, probably the fittings of the fireplace. Numerous bones of animals, such as teeth of the ox, horse, deer, and hog, with broken horns of the stag and cow, were scattered in all directions, as were also pieces of earthen vessels, of various degrees of refinement, some of which were no more artificially wrought than the sepulchral urns of the ancient Britons. Some again were firmly baked, though as coarse in quality as modern roof-tiles, whilst others were highly finished, and marked with the lozenge-pattern common upon funeral vessels of the Romano-British period. A small knife, a pike-head, and a plain fibula, all of iron; a beautiful bronze fibula, tastefully ornamented with yellow lozenges down the front; and part of a human skull, were likewise found upon this floor, which appears, from its superior extent, to have been that of a house of more lofty pretensions than the others. It appears also that the table of this habitation was better provided than usual, as more bones of animals, fit for food, were found upon and round the floor than elsewhere.

A broad low bank extending from the place just described was next examined, and turned over as low down as it appeared artificial. Near the place first examined we found occasional depressions in the floors, having a few stones ranged round them, which, from their containing ashes, charcoal, bits of calcined bone, fragments of pottery, &c., we at once concluded to be fire-places. Several holes, about a yard square, of greater depth than the fireplaces, and almost filled with flat stones, set in edgeways, were observed. Further up the field, we found a rectangular piece of black limestone, lying upon the undisturbed surface, which was eighteen inches beneath the turf. It measures about twelve inches by eight, and is from two to three inches thick, and on one side is covered with numerous lines, some straight, others diagonal, which have been cut in rather deeply by a sharp instrument, for a purpose by no means evident, or, most probably, for no purpose at all, further than lack of more profitable employment by some ennuyied aboriginal who was ignorant of politics or such like remedy for the destitute or vacant mind. How could these people exist without their stimulating Sunday paper? Higher still, at the depth of about a foot, we found a firm and undisturbed level surface or floor, of stiff earth, by the side of which was a space several yards in length, sunk to the further depth of nine or ten inches, the edge of which, adjoining the earthen floor, was perfectly straight and well defined, though the width of this depression could not be satisfactorily ascertained, owing to the further edge being mor^ broken and irregular. It was filled with large stones, amongst which we observed scarcely any fragments either of bone or pottery. Another floor, paved with rough limestones, was uncovered at the upper end of the bank, upon which, at the depth of one foot from the sur&ce of the ground, we diBcovered a small iron fork of two prongs, widely separated, whence it appears that the inhabitants of Wetton, in the remote ages, were not entirely unacquainted with those conveniences of life generally supposed to be of recent introduction. Near the south side of the before-mentioned bank, at the depth of eight inches from the surface, we encountered a large stone, nearly a yard square and about a foot thick, lying upon a stratum of ashes, and surrounded with a heap of other stones of various sizes. There was a natural hole quite through the centre of this stone, which, being turned over, disclosed a hole about two feet wide and one foot deep, which was filled with charcoal and stones that had been perfectly reduced to lime; a few pieces of pottery, bone, and lead ore were found among the ashes at the bottom of the hole. We then dug up an irregular mound of earth and stone in the adjoining field nearest to the present village, to the depth of three feet, when the natural rock was exposed to view, covered over with traces of fire. Here many fragments of earthen utensils and a small instrument of iron were picked up, as well as the bones and teeth of animals, including those of the rat. A small brass coin of the Emperor Gallienus (A.D. 253 to 268) — reverse a stag, with the legend, "DIANAJE. CONS. (AVG.)" — was found in this place in 1845; and in the present year part of a very neat whetstone, perforated for suspension to the person, was discovered in the same place. In 1850, another bank, at the further side of the middle field, running in the same direction as that previously examined, was opened. Here we found, amongst the remains of animals and pottery, portions of at least two paved floors, around which abounded small limestones, and gritstone boulders that had been burnt. In this bank we observed a low wall, built of flat limestones, in which was inserted a hard slab of gritty slate, about an inch thick, that had evidently been used as a bake-stone, as it projected out from the wall so as to receive the heat of a flre kindled beneath it, the traces of which were obvious, both upon the stone itself and the ground beneath it, whereon there lay a collection of ashes and charcoal. On clearing this away, we found the surface of the floor to consist of clayey earth, burnt very red and hard by repeated fires. By breaking it up, we found a large table knife, 9^ inches long, of peculiar shape, still retaining its original handle of stag's horn, rubbed smooth, the preservation of which may be attributed to its having been embedded in the fire-hardened earth. (It is here engraved as a companion to the fork.) As in the other bank, so here also were holes nearly filled with flat stones, set around the centre on edge, so as to leave a small space in the middle, which we found to be filled with earth and a dark-coloured powder as fine as vegetable ashes. Three of these were observed; two of them being on one side of the bank, and the other on the opposite side, over against one of the others. They were between three and four yards asunder, and were respectively about a yard deep. We concluded that they had been prepared for the reception of strong posts or beams of wood, that formed the corners of the house, which had been inserted into the ground and then wedged in with flat stones, so as to stand firmly in the desired position. The remaining discoveries made in this part of the field consist of broken querns, including a rude kind of mortar made from a stone in shape like the frustrum of a cone, hollowed out at the top for the reception of the grain, which would be bruised by a rounded stone or muUer; a portion of a stone ring, four inches diameter, of uncertain use, several other examples of which are in the collection at Lomberdale; a thin piece of bronze, perforated at each end; and part of the reeded handle of a vessel of green glass, of Roman manufacture. In digging at the end of this bank, in 1845, a leaden collar for the neck, formed of two pieces, perforated at the ends to fasten it together, was discovered. In the year 1851, the floors of four habitations were discovered, in the third field, which is furthest from the village. They were found along tlie line of a low ridge which forms part of a parallelogram, some faint traces of which are perceptible in an adjoining field, called the "Wether Pasture." One of the floors found within this enclosure was quite perfect. It was constructed of rough limestone slabs, the surfaces of which were in a state of disintegration; part of a thin millstone had also been introduced as a paying-stone amongst the othera The pavement was about five yards square, and was buried from one to two feet below the turf. At one corner we found a heap of ashes and charcoal, amongst which was an iron awl; the rest of the floor was quite free from any refuse whatever, in which respect it differed from the others that we have found, all of which have been more or less strewed with animal bones, &c. In this case the family dustheap, containing as usual bones and potsherds, was found at the south-west side of the floor, probably just outside where the door was situated. Burnt bones, animal bones, and numerous pieces of Romano-British pottery, were found upon and around the other three floors; and broken handmills, together with stones and pebbles foreign to the soil, were found in the banks which covered them, as in other places in the fields.

During the year 1852 three or more pavements, similar to the others, were discovered in the middle field, where no external indications of their existence presented themselves. We also met with traces of occupation in other places where no flagged floors were found. One of the floors was small, and surrounded by the usual accompaniments: upon it was found an iron spike. The others were much larger; but, owing to their imperfect and damaged condition, we were unable to obtain their dimensions. A large bouldered stone, surrounded by ashes, lay in a hole in one of them. The ground for a considerable extent all round had been removed, down to the natural rock, which was in some places three feet beneath the surface of the clods we dug out. The earth throughout was intermixed with limestones, pebbles, broken earthenware, animal bones, stags' horns, ashes, and burnt wood. Amongst this accumulation of rubbish we found a stout bronze awl, like some we have found in tumuli, a small iron knife, half of a small pair of iron shears, and a coin of the small brass size, which seems to be a barbarous imitation of one of Claudius Gothicus or Tetricus. Here — as is not unfrequently the case in more serious and weighty matters — there was but a step between the living and the dead, for on the 10th of August, 1852, jtve found, by continuing the excavation along the surface of the rock, that we were gradually extending deeper and deeper as the rock inclined downwards; the earth also that we had to remove became darker in colour as we advanced, and was mixed with ashes and large loose stones. After we had removed some large blocks, a human skull appeared upon the rock, by which it was evident that we had unawares broken into a cist, which by careful examination was found to contain the skeleton of a female — the femur measuring seventeen inches, and the skull indicating a person of middle age — which lay on the right side, with the head towards the south and the feet to the north. The bone^, with the exception of the legs, which were slightly bent back, were extended at length by the east side of the grave, which was formed by a wall built of flat stones, the uppermost of which were very large, and almost reached up to the surface of the land. A flat stone was set up edgeways at the head, as is not unusual in barrows of a much more remote antiquity; and close to it was a broken upper millstone. The bones were embedded in compact dark-coloured earth, intermixed with charcoal and burnt bones, and the body had been interred with three small beads, two of lilac-coloured and one of blue glass, and a plain bronze ring fibula, I^ inches diameter, about the neck, as they were discovered upon removing the skull. An iron awl, several iron nails, and pieces of stags* horns and other animal bones, were found about the skeleton. Some of the horns have been sawn across, particularly a very large palmated one; a tine from another had been neatly sharpened for some purpose. Another strong iron awl was found beneath the uppermost stone of the wall guarding the east side of the grave, the other sides of which were fenced out by large stones, extending almost up to the surface, two feet six inches above the bottom of the grave. The surrounding ground, except on the north-west, had been cut down to the rock, about six inches lower, a circumstance which induced us to continue the search, in the hope of finding other interments, to a further distance of eight yards, finding throughout the whole extent abimdance of ashes, boars' tusks and other bones, as well as a few articles of greater interest, comprising the skull of a stag, a neatly squared sharpening stone, between two and three inches square, and two coins in small brass, one of them of the Gonstantine femily— reverse, "GLORIA. EXERCITVS," two soldiers holding standards; the other is one of the minute imitations of the currency of the Lower Empire, in such poor condition as to be quite illegible.

In the course of the autumn of 1852, it was observed that the groundi at one side of the place where the interment was found in 1845, was slightly raised; and that stones, bones of animals, broken vessels, &c., were plentifully intermixed with the soil to the extent of about twelve yards in length and eight in breadth. The whole was afterwards turned over, down to the undisturbed level, and the following discoveries made. A little from the centre of this area we found that the groimd, for about three yards square, had been sunk deeper than ebewhere, having been disturbed to the depth of two feet from the surface, whilst in places contiguous it varied from a foot to half a yard only. It was here also filled up with stones larger than usual, amongst which were the broken remnants of at least three large stags' horns, and numerous fragments of others, some of which had been tooled, as in other instances. On the undisturbed level we found a slender bronze skewer, 12^ inches long, havbg the thicker end cleverly fashioned by the graver into the cloven foot either of a ruminant animal or a hog, from whence it is gradually attenuated to a point. Continuing our labours from the depression where the stags' horns were found, at a short distance we discovered a human skeleton that had been previously disturbed, and much broken in consequence. It lay about a foot below the turf, extended at length, with an iron knife, six inches long, and a smaller implement, probably the point of a javelin, near the head.

By turning over this part of the field, we found pieces of Roman tile, potsherds, and bones and tusks of rats and other animals, but no indication of further interments or pavements. The most curious object discovered here was a sort of drinking cup, made from the straight part of the leg bone of a large animal, closely resembling a modem drinking horn in shape and size, as it is rather more than three inches high, and is slightly decorated by a line cut in round the top, and two more round the bottom, with a single chevron running between. We also found in the same place one side of a pair of small iron shears.

Many sandstones, that have evidently been applied to a variety of uses, broken querns or handmills of different sizes and qualities, and numerous large boulders, are to be seen in the walls that enclose the Borough Fields, rendering it clear that the ruins of the settlement have long served as a quarry whence to obtain building materiab with but little trouble. It is doubtless owing to this facility of supply that the existing remains are so inconsiderable, and that greater success has not attended our persevering efforts to exhume the buried city.

Notice Of Barrows In The North Riding Of Yorkshire, Opened By Mr James Ruddock; The Remains From Which Are Preserved At Lomberdale.


On the 22nd of February we opened a tumulus at Crosscliff, of twenty yards circumference and four feet high, by cutting a trench through it from north to south. The upper part, chiefly consisting of stone, below which light-coloured sand predominated, except in the centre, where it was replaced by loose stones. No interment was found there, hut near the northern edge of the mound we discovered a large cinerary urn, eleven inches high, containing burnt bones, and covered with a flat stone; and on the south side of the barrow was another urn, embedded in red sand, also containing calcined bones, amongst which were a rude arrow-point and a flake of flint. The first of the urns, exhumed in imperfect condition, is decorated by a broad border, having a pattern of vertical lines alternating with horizontal ones, produced by the impress of a twisted thong on the soft clay. The other is an extremely fine and perfect vessel, 13½ inches high, having a border ornamented with a chevron pattern, deeply cut by the application of a slightly twisted cord. The whole of the tumulus was turned over without further success.

On the 28th of March a second barrow, near Crosscliflf, thirty-four yards circumference and four feet six inches high, composed of loose stone, was excavated by a cutting from the north side, towards the centre, where, nothing being found, the trench was continued in the direction of the circumference of the mound for the distance of sixteen yards, until we ultimately found, at the south side, a mass of calcined bones, accompanied by a rude arrow-point and a good circular knife of flint: the latter appears to have been partially burnt.

On the 7th of August we examined a barrow, seven miles north of Pickering, twenty-four yards in circumference and four feet high, composed of sand and stones, by cutting from the north side to the centre, where we found a large urn, much decayed and broken, with the upper part ornamented by a lozenge or network pattern, containing burnt bones and a small vessel, 2f inches high, of the kind called incense cups, which is a beautiful example of its class, being ornamented with a diamond-pattern, terminating above and below in punctures. It has also two perforations at one side. When found it was filled with ashes. The remainder of the tumulus was strictly searched without result.

On the 14th of August we opened a barrow, six miles north of Pickering, twenty-seven yards round the base, and four feet six in central elevation, by digging as usual from the north to the middle. After clearing away a layer of sand, large stones appeared, their position indicating that they were intentionally placed to guard the interments which were discovered on removing them. These were the calcined remains of probably two persons, enclosed in two fine sepulchral urns, embedded in sand and covered by a flat stone, which was too short to extend over the mouths of both. The bones were accompanied by a neat lance-head of flint, near two inches long, and two circular-ended flints, which had been calcined. The urns are respectively ten and eleven inches high: the former has a border of diagonal lines, occasionally crossed by others in the contrary direction; the latter is bordered by a simple pattern of a single chevrony line, running between two horizontal ones. They are both of coarse material and workmanship.

On the 17th of October we examined a tumulus, eight miles north of Pickering, twenty-five yards circumference and four feet deep, composed of stones and sand. In digging from the north to the centre, at a short distance before gaining the latter, we discovered an um, inverted upon the natural surface, and embedded in red sand. After its removal, calcined bones appeared and continued downwards to the depth of a foot below the level. With them was a rude arrow-head of flint. The vase is too small to have contained the bones, being but 5 J inches high; it is of thin earthenware, with a very neat chevrony border, and may have been a domestic vessel belonging to the deceased. At the distance of a yard further south wpre some fragments of another plain vessel of sandy clay.

On the 25th of October a tumulus was opened at Saintoft, near Cawthorn Camps, of the circumference of fifty yards; the original height reduced by agriculture. Commencing the section from the north, we found the barrow to consist of sand of diflFerent colours, overlaying a collection of stones resting on the natural soil, which was strewed with charcoal. In the centre was a large stone, upwards of a yard long by two feet six inches broad, covering a cist two feet square and two feet six inches deep, containing a deposit of calcined bones, from amongst which was taken a small incense cup, three inches diameter by IJ inch high, ornamented with punctured diagonal lines, rather irregularly disposed, and enclosing a broken bone pin. In searching other parts of tlie mound we found a splinter from a stone celt; and near the top were small fragments of earthenware, which appeared to have been dragged about by the plough.

On the 26th of November a large barrow was opened, near Cawthorn Camps, sixty-five yards in circumference, seven feet in elevation, composed of sand, burnt clay, and limestone rubble. We commenced on the north side with an excavation nine feet wide, which was increased to double the size at the centre, through the following strata — sand six feet, burnt clay, limestone rubble, and, lastly, burnt clay repeated, covering a grave sunk in the rock eleven feet below the natural level, the total depth from the crown of the barrow to the floor of the grave being eighteen feet. The grave was filled with the stones that had been quarried out of it, and after they were cleared we found its length to be fifteen feet and width seven feet. At the bottom were two skeletons lying at length, embedded in charcoal, with the heads pointing respectively east and west. At the right side of one lay a coarsely-made spear-head of flint, 2½ inches long, and at the same side of the other was a bronze dagger, 4½ inches long, of archaic type, which has been attached to a crescent-shaped handle by three rivets. It is in every respect the same as those previously described, from the Derbyshire and Staffordshire tumuli. The cranium of the latter interment is, unfortunately, very imperfect; it is that of a middle-aged man. Another very interesting barrow, situated in the same field, was next opened; its circumference at the base was sixty yards, the central height five feet, and it was composed of sandstones. By cutting from the north towards the centre, we uncovered some flat stones, set upright in the ground, which on further examination were found to be part of a complete circle, seven yards diameter, standing about two feet above the natural level, and enclosing a grave five feet long by four wide and three deep, filled with limestone, which, being emptied, disclosed a skeleton, necessarily contracted, with its head to the south. Close to the skull was a small vase, 4½ inches high, of well-baked thin earthenware, the upper part slightly moulded, and ornamented with four rows of large dots, above a single chevrony line scratched in the clay. It is in perfect preservation, and must be esteemed as a highly valuable specimen from having been discovered in connection with what would be called a "Druidical circle," were the upright stones exposed by the removal of the tumulus. It is probable that most of the smaller circles were altogether sepulchral, being nothing more than enclosures for the purpose of keeping sacred or tabooing the graves of chieftains.

On the 4th of December we examined a barrow situated near the Cawthorn Camps, forty-two yards circumference, diminished in height by farming operations. Between the north side and the middle we met with three places exhibiting traces of fire; and in the centre was a layer of charcoal, two feet square, amongst which were some pieces of an urn. After its removal, the excavation was continued about two yards beyond the centre in an eastern direction, when a change appeared at the natural surface, arising from a grave four feet deep, which was filled with stones and sand, containing at the bottom two skeletons, deposited with their heads to the south, the skull of one lying on the breast of the other. Near the head of each was a small vase, and beneath the skull of one was a well chipped flint javelin-point, two inches long; whilst in a similar position with regard to the other were two round-ended flints. One of the vases is 4¼ inches high, superficially moulded, and decorated with a few vertical scratches only, altogether of coarse workmanship, contrasting very unfavourably with the other, which is an inch taller, and beautifully ornamented with a fine herring-bone pattern, interspersed with small dots. It has likewise four small perforated knobs, placed at regular intervals, in a hollow moulding below the border.

On the 10th of December, a tumulus on AUerstone Common, 32 yards round the base, and near five feet high, was opened, as usual fi-om the north. The upper part consisted of variously coloured sand and stone, succeeded by white sand, which, being removed, disclosed some calcined bones, and part of a small globular vessel of reddish clay, rather more than three inches diameter, most elaborately ornamented with rows of herring-bone pattern, finely incised. After strictly examining this part of the barrow the cutting was taken south, and near that edge of the mound more burnt bones were found; after which we excavated the centre to the extent of twelve yards diameter, without meeting with any thing more.

On the 20th of December, a barrow upon Gindle Top, forty-six yards circumference, and five feet six inches high, composed of sand and stones, was opened by sinking down the centre. When we had penetrated to within a foot of the natural surface, a large flat stone appeared, which, on removal, exposed an unusually large and fine cinerary urn, containing burnt bones and embedded in tenacious clay. After it was taken up, we found two flints beneath where it had rested: one is a circular-ended instrument; the other is a small disk, three-quarters of an inch diameter, chipped all round. The urn is 15^ inches high, finished by a projecting border, decorated by the impression of two cords, twisted in contrary directions, and repeated in parallel horizontal lines so as to produce a kind of herring-bone pattern.

On the 23rd of January we opened a calm, or stony tumulus, about a mile nonh of Pickering, which in its present imperfect state, caused by agriculture, measures forty-two yards round and four feet in height. After removing stone in the centre, from an area four yards square, to the depth of two feet, we came to a concretion of lime, charcoal, and calcined bones, firmly compacted together, covering the whole space. On breaking through it a skeleton was found, in a contracted posture, on its left side, with the head to the north, having near the skull a very curious drinking cup, 5½ inches high, with a handle at the side sufficiently large to admit the finger, thus differing from the perforated knobs that are not unusual on the smaller vases from tumuli. It is the first instance in which we have seen a drinking cup furnished with appendage. The ornamentation of the vessel is also peculiar, consisting chiefly of angularly pointed cartouches, filled with a reticulated pattern, and having a band of the same encircling the upper part. A little to the south were several calcined instruments of flint, including a small javelin point and four round-ended implements.