four were not uncommon, and at one part as many as fifteen were excavated in less than half an acre of ground. Many pieces of Roman pottery and other objects were recovered in the course of the search, and from one of the pits came a very remarkable series of ninety-six objects of iron which may be compared with the find from Pit XVI at Newstead. Nothing was found to indicate the possibility of the pits having been used for the purpose of burial.

In France a very notable group of a somewhat analogous kind was excavated in La Vendée by the Abbé Ferdinand Baudry in 1873.[1] The depth of the twenty-one pits which he describes, varied from ten and a half feet to forty-two feet. They were carefully constructed, and were frequently closed with masonry, while layers of stone divided them horizontally. The vessels of pottery they contained, many of which were unbroken, were protected by tiles and blocks of stone. From a review of the whole circumstances, the Abbé Baudry came to the conclusion that the pits had been constructed for sepulture. They yielded a curious collection of objects bearing a close resemblance to many of the things found at Newstead, and showing that both sets of pits belong to the same period. With this contemporaneity, however, the analogy ends. In Germany similar pits and wells have been frequently met with. At the Saalburg, for instance, the number examined must approach one hundred. From these there has been extracted a large and varied collection of objects, but in none of them have human bones been discovered. Besides, the cemetery of the fort is well known, so that their purpose can hardly have been sepulchral. It is true that at Heddernheim the remains of two human skeletons were taken out of a pit ten feet deep.[2] Dr. Quilling, however, who writes the account of this find, sees in it, not an ordinary burial, but the result of some sudden tumult in which men had lost their lives.

The hypothesis that the Newstead pits were burial places was put forward by Dr. J. A. Smith, who was inclined to consider those discovered in 1846 'to have been the sepulchres of the Roman town.' Although the cemetery has not so far been located, the further evidence now available enables us to dismiss this conclusion. Had they been intended and generally used for burial by inhumation, human remains would certainly have been found in a greater number of them, for in the black deposit, which was

1 Puits funéraires gallo-romains du Bernard (Vendée).

2 Mittheilungen über römische Funde in Heddernheim, i. p. 8.