Burial Accessory Cup

Mitchell Laithes, West Yorkshire




Charlotte Britton

This week’s Finds Friday featured in our monograph for Mitchell Laithes Farm and is an almost complete burial accessory cup, dating to the Bronze Age.

The cup was recovered from a small pit and was associated with an individual cremation burial deposit. It joins a relatively small number of Early Bronze Age burial associations that have been excavated in modern times in the West Yorkshire area, and so it was a very exciting find!

‘Accessory cups’ are essentially very small vessels, that come in various shapes, that are associated with cremation burials and are found either alone or are placed within a larger collared urn. This example is known as a ‘bipartite shape’, a class of vessel often deposited alone rather than as an accompaniment with the larger urns.

The cup stands at only 6.4cm high with a 6.6cm rim diameter and is made from a smooth buff fabric. It has very nice adornment, with an impressed fine twisted cord decoration on the exterior; paired horizontal lines below rim, under the shoulder, around the base and triple lines above the shoulder. The lines overlap in places with what is known as a ‘z twist’. There are also a series of pin holes into the inner rim bevel. An unusual feature is an internal ring-ridge, which is a rare aspect amongst such cups, although it has now become known as a local feature.

The cremated remains that were associated with the cup included two fragments of animal bone, one which was identified as pig and radiocarbon dating, gave us a date range of 1880-1680 cal BC.

To find out more about the Mitchell Laithes Farm project click here.

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