are shorter than the width of the tile (7½ in.), and fill up the gap by
recurring. The recurring letters, so far as can be judged by the surviving
fragments, are identically the same as the others, as if the same stamp
had been used over again to impress them, but there is no visible sign of
any edge to the stamp. Further, the words do not begin or end at the
beginnings or ends of the lines. On four fairly complete specimens the
second line appears as abriabantu ca (twice), riabantucabi, and
bantu. cabriab, and on less perfect pieces it begins abanu-, and
ends -abii and -u.cab. Nor do the words begin and end
together. Lines (1) and (2) are in fixed relation to each other, but the
final m of (1) is opposite the hr of (2). We have no obvious
choice but to suppose that the stamp was of very irregular shape, and that
the tiles were laid out side by side for stamping and marked consecutively without any care for coincidence for the divisions of words
and tiles. The whole may have been meant primarily as rude ornament. But
it appears to contain a trader’s mark or advertisement in Latin. Parietalem
probably denotes a tile made for use in a house-wall (paries), a
common use of box-tiles; Cabriabanu (or whatever be the ending)
seems to be a Celtic name,52 presumably that of the brickmaker,
and the whole sentence would probably run ‘Cabriabanus made this
box-tile.’ The use of Latin is significant.53 We may compare
these tiles with the better-known Latin graffiti on Silchester
tiles, satis ‘enough,’ the groan of a weary workman, or fecit
tubum Clementinus, the sprawl of a fresher colleague. In each case we
have evidence that the lower classes in Roman Britain spoke and wrote
Latin. But whereas the Silchester examples illustrate only the customs of
the town, our present instance is the more interesting, since it occurs in
a villa and illustrates the condition of the rural population. We do not,
of course, know that it is a local product. But it is not likely to have
been brought from far. Its rude character forbids that idea, and, indeed,
brick-earth is common in Kent. We may regret more sharply than usual that
we possess no materials for dating accurately the tiles or the villa.
41. ST. MARY CRAY.—Tesseae, bricks, a coin of Faustina II, and other
indications of a villa were found in the old bank and bed of the River
Cray, so yds. from the present stream. The building probably was destroyed
in making a new road.54
42. SALTWOOD, NEAR HYTHE.—Roman foundations, bricks and tiles were
discovered in 1864 at the south-east corner of Harp Wood, close to the
Brockhill stream, about ½ mile west of Saltwood, on the hill above Hythe.
No detailed account of them exists. But they are apparently the same as
some ‘Roman foundations in Carp Wood,’ recorded by Mr. Payne. A
cinerary urn with a saucer serving as a lid, both of coarse dark ware, and
a red earthen jug, which (if one may judge by its neck) is of late Roman
date, were found in a stone cist at Saltwood some time before 1874, and
are now in Folkestone Museum. 55
43.—SNODLAND.—Traces of a building were noticed here in 1844 and very
cursorily uncovered, in two fields called Church Field and Stone Grave
Field, close to Snodland church, on the west bank of the Medway, and
immediately overlooking the river, a site now occupied by Gas Works. The
remains examined consisted of a floor of large tiles, another of concrete
of lime, sand, pounded tile and stones, and some walling, one bit of which
is described as ‘a well-built wall of stone with alternate layers of red
and yellow tiles.’ There were also some walls in the bank of the river,
taken to be a passage leading down to the water, and tradition adds that a
bath was found here early in the 19th century. Much debris of a house, tesserae, roof and flue tiles, and potsherds lie scattered about the site,
and the walls of the church contain may Roman tiles.
In building a new retort house at the Gas Works, in 1927, pieces of
shapeless foundation and a length of wall showing a flint course, resting
on a footing of two layers of chalk boulders, were found. Near it a
terra-cotta mask, and a thin bronze plate, the counter-plate of a buckle,
‘chip-carved,’ and inlaid with niello (P1.
XXVI). Mr. Reginald Smith
points out the rarity of portrait-medallions in this form of decoration
which belongs to the close of the Roman period. The coins found (5)
include a brass of Domitian A.D. 87, a worn Pius, a Constantine I, an’
Urbs Roma,’ and a small brass of Gratian; the pottery dates from the
late 1st to the late 3rd century, and includes a stamp of the La
Graufesenque potter, Frontinus.56
44. SWANSCOMBE.—’ Foundations’ of a Roman building have been
noticed by Mr. Spurrell
continued from page 123 lowest line of the same stamp above it. One can see how the line of the
pre-existing I has caused an elevation, but no break in the A stamped over
it. For the tile, see Proc. Soc. Ant. Loud. xxiii, 108 ff. and
Eph. Ep. ix, 1289.
52 It is rash to speculate where the lettering is
so rude as that of these
tiles. But, if the word was meant to end in u, we may compare the
similar terminations of potters’ marks on Samian ware—Agedillu,
Cintusmu, for Agedillus, Cintusmus, or Cotu, Criciru, for Coto, Criciro—due
very probably to Celtic contamination. Compare Bohn’s remarks in Corpus
Inscr. Lat. xiii (3), pp. 119—120.
53 On the general question of the use of Latin in Roman Britain, see
Haverfield Romanization of Roman Britain (Oxford, 1923), pp. 29—3
54 Journ. of R. Studies, xviii, 208.
55 Six-inch O.S. Maps, Sheet No. lxxiv S.E. and Name Books; Payne, Coll.
Cant. 199; objects in Folkestone Museum. See also Topographical Index.
56 C. R. Smith, Arch. Journ. i, 164.; excavations, ibid. 262, and
Wright, Wanderings, p. 189. Antiq. Journ. vii, 521-2; Arch.
Cant. xl, p. xlviii, 79—8 2. The buckle is in Rochester Museum. The
O.S. six-inch, xxxi, N.W., records tiles found here in 1893 also. For
barrow, see Topographical Index.