2000 YE1

23 April 2014

2,000-year-old Roman Tiles Uncovered With Unusual Prints

Archaeologists in England recently unearthed paw and hoof prints preserved in what is believed to be 2,000-year-old Roman tiles, according to Live Science. Distinct imprints of two animals on the tiles were a few of many artefacts uncovered during the dig in Leicester, Leicestershire. It is supposed the prints must have been the result of a dog paw as well as the hoof of a sheep or goat whilst the clay was wet. “My initial thought was that it must have been very difficult being a Roman tile manufacturer with these animal incursions going on all the time,” said Philip Briggs, an archaeologist at Wardell Armstrong Archaeology, the company responsible for bringing the dig to this particular site.

The dig, which started at the beginning of the year, was specifically focused in Blackfriars a borough previously occupied by the Corieltauvi; a tribe whose coins provided the largest hoard of Iron Age coins ever found in Britain in the form of the Hallaton Treasure, unearthed in 2000. It is therefore believed the tiles may have been part of a Corieltauvi townhouse. The tiles were found in layers of rubble that had been laid down as a hard base for subsequent floors, but the artefacts’ original context is unclear. “We don’t know if the tiles were originally part of an earlier building or were bought in from elsewhere specifically to raise and stabilize ground,” told Nick Daffern, a senior project manager at Wardell Armstrong Archaeology via an email to Live Science. “They are beautiful finds, as they represent a snapshot, a single moment in history,” commented Daffern. “It is lovely to imagine some irate person chasing a dog or some other animal away from their freshly made tiles.”

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