Horns of Plenty
Burial rituals in many societies illustrate the importance of drinking vessels over the centuries. For instance, the burial site of a Saxon chieftain dating from the sixth century A.D. found in a churchyard in Taplow, Buckinghamshire, contained five cow horns and four glass cups. Mourners must have expected the chief would be doing quite a bit of partying in the afterlife. Drinking vessels from this find are on display at The British Museum in London.
Cattle horns were prized drinking vessels across much of Europe and elsewhere for hundreds of years. Writings from the first century A.D. mention hunters in what is now Germany killing wild cattle and making drinking vessels from the horns. Many of these popular drinking vessels were adorned with silver rims and jewels at a time when metal drinking vessels also were available. Later German artisans created drinking horns made of glass.