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Kent Archaeological Review extract

Answers to Quiz number 7.
by Maurice Godfrey.

  1. The Mountfield Treasure was found on a farm near Battle in Sussex in 1863. It consisted of a large torc, bracelets, rings and bars of gold, of Bronze Age date. The hoard changed hands again, this time for 500 and was melted down. The crown laid claim to the gold, it was declared to be treasure trove and those concerned in the disposal were heavily fined. Which only goes to show that honesty is the best policy!

  2. Samuel Pepys in his diary in 1669. No doubt it has been said in these or similar words by would-be archaeologists countless times since. It was "Kit's Coty House," the remains of the Neolithic chambered barrow on the Downs above Aylesford in Kent.

  3. Bigbury. This well known hill-fort is about two miles west of Canterbury. The North Downs trackway passes through it. Incidentally an oppidum is a fortified town usually on a hill and permanently occupied, in contrast with the more common hill-fort occupied mainly in times of war.

  4. The "Holborough Knob" is a large barrow near Snodland dating from the third century AD. It was excavated in 1954. The cremation burial was in a deep grave covered by a dome of puddled chalk before the barrow-mound was formed. Grave goods included a folding metal stool and a coin of Antoninus Pius depicting a funeral pyre. There was a secondary inhumation of an infant in a very fine lead coffin which is now in the Maidstone museum.

  5. Basilica. Originally a royal building. In Roman times it was a meeting place, an oblong building with double colonades used for public administration, commercial, social and (later) religious purposes.

    Cup and Ring Marks. Decorative carvings found on Bronze Age cists or on natural rock outcrops in Wales, Scotland and Ireland. The fuction is unknown.

    Dendrochronology. A dating method by the study of growth rings of tree trunks.

    Dolmen. A simple type of Neolithic burial chamber of stone side and end slabs supporting a cap-stone.

    Epigraphy. The study of ancient writing on stone, coins, etc.

    Midden. A refuse dump on to which Prehistoric Man threw discarded objects. A very valuable source of material for the archaeologist.

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