Keepers’ Corner – Creslow Burial

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This amazing set of finds comes from a Roman cremation burial, found near Creslow.

It includes pieces that relate to this month’s theme, “journeys” in two ways. The star find in the group is undoubtedly the bronze jug – although the body of the jug is very thin beaten metal, and has been badly crushed over time, the handle is a solid cast piece, with incredibly detailed carving on it. The handle shows a scene with two people holding onto each other, next to an altar with smoke rising from it, and a third person in the background. This may be a funeral scene. High quality work like this comes from workshops in Northern Italy or Southern Gaul (France), and would have been highly prized at the time, so the piece itself must have been imported to Britain, and has already been on its own journey.


The other “journey” in here, is the fact that objects included with a pre-Christian burial like this are known as grave goods – the items that the deceased would need on their journey into the afterlife. In this case, apart from eating and drinking equipment, the finds included a tiny carved intaglio gem, and an iron lamp holder. Objects that give light are a common feature in many Roman burial groups, suggesting the person may have needed light for their final journey.


These finds can be seen in the Discover Bucks gallery, apart from the lamp holder, which is too fragile to go on long term display.


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