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The Dumfriesshire and Galloway Natural History and Antiquarian Society

Artefacts

Beaker Fragment, Water of Ken

Period:
Bronze Age
Description:

Found on the surface bank of the Water of Ken, this is part of a decorated beaker - two surviving fragments that have been glued together. With a flat base and curved sides this beaker is decorated with 11 horizontal incised bands parallel to the rim. Between these lines are two bands in vertical incised lines. The rim is decorated with a similar vertical line, and is plain inside.

 

The role of such beakers is often disputed. The Society contacted Dr Anderson of the Antiquarian Museum, Edinburgh concerning a similar pygmy cup find in Dumfries. He replied;

 

"The purpose of these tiny vessels has given rise to a variety of conjectures. It has been suggested that they may have been censers or incense cups, or lamps, or salt-cellers or vessels for carrying the sacred fire that was to light the funeral pile, or cups for the strong drink that was required on the occasion of the funeral feast, or vessels destined to contain the ashes of the brain or heart, or for the bones of an infant sacrificed on the death of its mother. All these conjectures are equally probable, inasmuch as they are all equally unsupported by evidence"

Place of Discovery:
West bank of Water of Ken, Stroangassel farm
Materials/Media:
ceramic
Dimensions:
height: 100 mm diameter (base): 55 mm width (rim): 90 mm
Source:
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
DUMFM:1967.7
Digital Number:
RPD0096
References:
ANSELL, M L - "A Beaker from Stroangassel, Kirkcudbrightshire", TDGNHAS, 3rd series, volume 44, p223, 1967


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