How I created Savariana's story

How I created Savariana's story

I made up this possible scenario based on the following clues:

Girl aged 5 or 6 years from Winchester (Venta Belgarum 'Market of the Belgians');
Coins in the earth above the grave suggest she was buried between AD 350 and AD370.

Isotopes in the enamel of her third molar show she grew up in or near Winchester, but her grave-goods are exotic, possibly from the Danube region.

Multiple bracelets on left arm (unusual in Roman Britain but not Pannonia)
Exotic headband of bronze scallops and glass pieces (these left stains on the skull so we know she was buried still wearing the headband)
Bronze hair pin with glass head
Ten bracelets/bangles:
- Bronze three-strand cable
- Bronze single twisted strand
- Bronze solid bracelet
- Bronze strip bracelet with punched cogwheel decoration
- Iron bracelet with bronze decoration
- Iron bracelet with bronze decoration
- Shale (local from Kimmeridge) bracelet
- Bone bracelet

Exotic gold-in-glass beads necklace with a larger 'eye' bead (possibly to avert evil)

Two New Forest (i.e. local British) pottery beakers for wine or milk?
Also a pottery bowl, flagon and flask (for food and drink?)

In the mid fourth century there was a power struggle between the sons of Constantine. Headbands are usually worn by royalty so that gave me the idea that maybe her parents were related to one of the brothers, perhaps Crispus, whose coins have been found in Pannonia (European province of the Roman Empire).

Jewellery was expensive and significant in Roman times. This gave me the idea that each of the bangles had a separate story attached, like the charms on a charm bracelet. Maybe you could think of stories to go with the other bracelets!

Finally, Romans were terribly superstitious and believed every calamity occurred for a reason. One of the most common reasons was the jealous look called the 'evil eye' that could bring down misfortune, sickness or even death. Children were most vulnerable and usually wore some sort of protective charm. These include tiny phalluses (willies) and phallus-like horns (representing power) but also Medusa heads, a hand making a certain gesture, and perhaps the club of Hercules.