[From Manx Note Book, vol iii, 1887]

Cinery Urn from Cronk Aust, Lezayre

Cinery Urn

THE URN, WHICH IS HERE FIGURED, WAS found in levelling an ancient burial mound known as Cronk Aust, situated by the high-road to Andreas, near the Dhoor. It was brought to me in a fragmentary state, but fortunately I have been able, by means of glue and plaster of Paris, to restore it as here shown. Its outside height was 4½in.; its greatest diameter outside, at a distance of 2½in. below the rim, was about 6¾in.; thickness 3/8in. to ¾ in. In form, it rises perpendicular for about ¼ in., then rapidly expands, attaining its greatest diameter about 1¾in. from the bottom; a little above this point it becomes slightly constricted, again expanding and then incurving the rim. The material consists of a paste of the ordinary clay, tempered with finely pulverized stone. The colour is a blotchy dark-brown, caused by the way in which the clay has taken the fire. The entire surface is covered with ornamentation. Within, the rim, which is oblique, terminating in a sharp edge, bears an angular waved band sharply cut in relief. Outside, the design consists of two rows of elliptic figures, which seem to have been stamped or impressed in the surface, but may have been separately incised; each of these figures is ornamented by fine incised diagonal lines, and between each, above and below, are roughly triangular nicks. The spaces between these rows and above the upper and below the lower one, are occupied by an ornament consisting of three bands divided by broad, deeply indented lines, the middle band in each case being plain, the other two bearing fine diagonal lines crossed, or, perhaps accidentally, forming a herring-bone pattern. A remarkable thing is that even the bottom of the Urn is ornamented, and it bears the mystic Pentagon or five-pointed star. It is interesting to note that the artist, who evidently an from one point and worked round, miscalculated the distance, and finding the tenth stroke did not meet the first as it should have done to complete the fifth point of the star, added one more stroke but left the first unerased. Within this star the surface is plain. but outside of it the spaces between the points are occupied by the cross line ornament continued from round the rim. The Urn was filled with calcined bones; it lay just above the original level of the soil upon a thin band of dark burnt earth and charcoal. A full description of the mound and its other contents was given by me to the Isle of Mann Natural History and Antiquarian Society on the 5th April,1886.



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