Pottery cremation urn

Anglo-Saxon, 6th-7th century AD
From a cremation grave in a cemetery at Loveden Hill, Lincolnshire

With a burnt assemblage of grave goods

When excavated, this pot was found to contain a burned assemblage belong to a middle ranking woman. It included part of a bone comb, fragments of bronze which had been distorted by heat, including parts of three brooches, pieces of iron binding and fused glass beads from a necklace.

The urn is decorated with deeply incised chevrons which are filled with horizontally set impressions of a stamp, producing four circular depressions perhaps made with a fragment of a bone comb. Many Anglo-Saxon funerary urns are decorated with stamped impressions. The stamps were often made of bone or wood, or improvised from the bones of small birds. They are used prolifically and their design varies from simple annular stamps to swastikas and stylized serpents. A particular stamp impression is sometimes found on pottery in widely different geographic locations. This is an indication of a pottery industry rather than a village potter producing wares for the local community.

The urn belongs to a late group decorated with comb-point and rouletted ornament and its tall necked, low bulbous form suggests that it is one of the latest cremation urns from this cemetery.

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More information


C. Haith, 'Pottery in early Anglo-Saxon England' in Pottery in the making: world-9 (London, The British Museum Press, 1997), pp. 146-51, fig. 1

J.N.L. Myres, Anglo-Saxon pottery and the se (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1969)

J.N.L Myres, A corpus of Anglo-Saxon potter (Cambridge University Press, 1977)


Height: 25.300 cm

Museum number

M&ME 1963,10-1,14


Excavated by Dr K.R. Fennell


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