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Finds from gardens, fields and rivers

There have been lots of artifacts found in gardens, fields and rivers. Some of these are set out below. The ones specifically from archaeological digs can be found on the dig pages.

Axe Head [from River Ock]

Flint Axe-Head

A polished flint axe-head was dredged from the River Ock at Charney Bassett in the summer of 1978. It was recovered from the Thames Water Authority spoil heap by Basil Sharpus. The axe head is of read more…


17th Century Potsherd

This is a picture of a potsherd found in a garden in Charney. It comes from a bottle or flagon probably made in Cologne or Frechen, around 1500 – 1700 AD. A great deal of this pottery was imported to England in the seventeenth century, as was the white wine of the region.

Flint Flakes and Tools

The Mesolithic Period, also called Middle Stone Age, existed between the Paleolithic Period (Old Stone Age), with its chipped stone tools, and the Neolithic Period (New Stone Age), with its polished stone read more…

Saxon Brooch B&W

Saxon Brooch

The  brooch, from Cherbury Camp, is held in the reserve collection of The Ashmolean Museum and is not on display. There are no other Anglo-Saxon or medieval objects from Cherbury Camp in the Ashmolean collection.  The brooch was originally given read more…

Clay Balls [from Mill Cottage]

Clay Balls

Found in the vicinity of the Mill.

These are most likely to be Victorian clay marbles – they probably were once bottle stoppers – when the bottles were empty the kids used to read more…

Seventeenth Century Coin

Coin found in same garden as the seventeenth century potsherd is a twopence from the reign of Charles II (1660-85).

The coin is silver (0.81g) and was read more…

William III Coin

William III Halfpenny Coin

A William III Halfpenny Coin, 3rd issue (showing Britannia with hand on knee) dated to 1699-1701, was found around the area of Barnfield read more…

Cache of old bottles found in Charney

Photos of old bottles found in a garden in Charney. Eiffel Tower Lemonade, Foster Clark Ltd of Maidstone; Owbridges Lung Tonic, Clegg Mineral Water, W A Payne, Wantage; Morland Ltd, Abingdon; Wantage Brewery Co; Carsons HP Sauce (Carson invented HP Sauce and sold it on). To view more photos click here.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Uncle Tom’s Cabin – pottery fragment

A fragment of a plate from a garden in Charney depicting the Christian and anti-slavery theme of Uncle Tom’s Cabin from an anti-slavery novel by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Published in two volumes in 1852. Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the best-selling novel and the second best-selling book of the 19th century, following the Bible, and is credited with helping fuel the abolitionist cause in the 1850s.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin tells the story of Uncle Tom, an enslaved person, depicted as saintly and dignified, noble and steadfast in his beliefs. While being transported by boat to auction in New Orleans, Tom saves the life of Little Eva, an angelic and forgiving young girl, whose grateful father then purchases Tom. 

Elagabalus Roman Coin

Image courtesy of the Portable Antiquities Scheme 

A Roman silver Denarius of Elagabalus

A Roman silver Denarius of Elagabalus (AD 218-222), dating to the period AD 220-222 (Reece Period 10). IMP ANTONINVS PIVS AVG, laureate, horned, draped bust right right / SACERD DEI SOLIS ELAGAB, Elagabalus sacrificing right over lighted altar, star in right field. RIC IV, pt 2, p. 37, no. 131. RSC 246.

This coin was found by Tim Moody in a field near to Charney Bassett. The coin is in exceptional condition and is now housed in the British Museum.


Philip 1 Roman Coin

Image courtesy of the Portable Antiquities Scheme 

A Roman silver radiate of Phillip I

A Roman base silver radiate of Phillip I (AD 244-9), dating to the period AD 245 to 247 (Reece Period 12), ROMAE AETERNAE, Roma seated left holding Victroy and sceptre. Mint of Rome. RIC IV, p. 73, no. 44b.

This coin was found by Tim Moody in a field near to Charney Bassett. The coin is in exceptional condition and is now housed in the British Museum.

A Pair of Roman Dividers

Roman dividers Picture
Roman dividers Drawing

A pair of Roman dividers were found by Tim Moody in a field near to Charney Bassett. The dividers are in exceptional condition and have formed part of an exhibition in The Museum of Oxfordshire in Woodstock.

Roman dividers are uncommon objects, and of those known, the vast majority are plain, undecorated utilitarian objects. A similarly decorated pair from Shouldham, Norfolk is discussed in detail in Worrell et al. 2004. A number of other examples, although of the plain form, are displayed at the British Museum and several other museums also have utilitarian examples.

Full Description: A pair of complete cast copper alloy dividers of probable late Roman or early Saxon date. The dividers take the form of two long, straight arms that taper to a point; the arms are in the closed position. The arms are held at the top by an iron spindle (indicated by iron corrosion), forming a hinge. The ends of the spindle have added copper alloy mounts, one in the form of an eagle’s head and the other a rounded bulb forming the back of the hinged spindle on the other side of the arms. The eagle’s head is attached to a circular sectioned rod through which is a slot with the remains of an iron peg through it, which when the arms were opened to the desired width would have been pushed down to lock the arms in place. The eagle’s head is well rendered with the head feathers, brow ridges, eyes and beak all defined with incised linear decoration. The bulb on the reverse of the spindle has simple incised circumferential lines around its widest point, next to the arm. The arms themselves are rectangular in section for the upper half of their length, narrowing into faceted form in the lower half and taping to a point at the tip. Crescentic mouldings immediately below the spindle define the beginning of the arms. The arms are elaborately decorated. On the wider, outside edges the top half of the arms have equidistant running ring-and-dot motifs (connected by a diagonal line), all of which are of equal length and size. Red enamel survives in several of the combined motifs. These are surrounded by a continual border of crescentic indentations, with double linear bands top and bottom. Below the bottom banding are singular ring-and-dot motifs arranged 2-1-1 vertically. The decoration is the same on both sides. Both of the narrow edges of the upper arms also bear a border of crescentic stamps; those on the sections closest to the opposite arm are larger and arranged in an opposing double row. At the junction of the upper and lower arms the narrow edges have four singular ring-and-dot motifs arranged 1-2-1 vertically. The lower halves of the arms are pentagonally faceted on their outer edges with the only decoration being the ring and dot motifs noted above.