62Filmer-Sankey and Pestell, Snape Anglo-Saxon Cemetery, pp. 233, 236-38. 63Davidson, 'Antiquities on Snape Common', p. 178. 64Davidson stated that “All the rows [of rivets] terminated in two rivets lying parallel with each other –the one at the stem, the other at the stern”: Davidson, 'Antiquities on Snape Common', p. 181.
Peter J W Burch 46giving the Snape ship a longer length of approximately 54ft (16.5m).65 Additionally, the iron strip included with the collection of rivets in Aldeburgh Museum may be an indication of the presence of a mast and sail, although the use of metal ‘chain plates’ is otherwise unattested in this period. Regardless, the craft would certainly have been capable of being propelled by oars.66Prior to Davidson’s excavation, the site had been opened on at least two occasions. It is variously reported that a great many ‘vessels’ –presumably cremation urns –and ‘quantities of gold rings, broaches, chains etc.’ were removed from the site, the latter occurring in 1827. The site was also subsequently disturbed by the Ordnance Survey, but with entirely unknown consequences.67The true wealth of the burial is, therefore, unknowable, but as with Mound Two the suspicion exists that the burial was once impressive –two spear heads, a glass claw beaker and the so called ‘Snape Ring’, an intricate piece which made use of a Roman carved onyx, were found with the burial.68On the basis of this ring, which is unlikely to pre-date c.550, and the Evison type 3c claw beaker, the ship burial can be tentatively dated to the second half of the sixth century.69Little is known of the layout of the grave, nor was a body identified, explicable through either previous disturbance or the acidity of the soil. Possibly Kingly Burials Other sites, found elsewhere in the country, exhibit broadly similar assemblages and structures. Few of these, however, are comparable to the wealth and opulence found or implied in the above burials. The barrow at Benty Grange, Derbyshire, is one such example. Sited on an escarpment overlooking the Roman Road that runs between Buxton and Ashbourne, the burial was placed upon the original ground level, under a low mound, reported as not more than two feet, but spread out over a large area and surrounded by a ditch.70The barrow may, therefore, have once been reasonably large, but this cannot be 65Filmer-Sankey and Pestell, Snape Anglo-Saxon Cemetery, pp. 194-95. 66Filmer-Sankey and Pestell, Snape Anglo-Saxon Cemetery, p. 195. On ‘chain plates’: McGrail, Ancient Boats in Northwest Europe, p. 229. 67Davidson, 'Antiquities on Snape Common', p. 177. Exert taken from a letter published in The Field in March 1863, quoted in Filmer-Sankey and Pestell, Snape Anglo-Saxon Cemetery, p. 5. 68Filmer-Sankey and Pestell, Snape Anglo-Saxon Cemetery, pp.195-96; Davidson, 'Antiquities on Snape Common', pp. 179, 181.