Roman child's leather shoe

Contributed by The Hunterian

Roman child’s leather shoe

The second Roman campaign into Scotland was conducted under the Emperor Antoninus Pius who ordered the construction of the Antonine Wall across the Clyde-Forth isthmus in AD 142.

Roman family life is represented by this child's shoe which was recovered from Bar Hill fort in the centre of the Antonine Wall. This rare example of a leather sandal has stitch holes at the toe, a tab at the heel and a forward strap linked to the seam and is decorated. This is an unusually well-preserved and beautifully crafted object and may have belonged to a child of the fort's commander, since the troops were not allowed to marry.

This object from the collection of the Hunterian Museum was selected by Louisa Hammersley, postgraduate student at the Department of Archaeology, University of Glasgow. Louisa says "As a mother of three young children, I was naturally drawn towards this object because it clearly demonstrates the presence of at least one Roman child in Scotland during the Antonine period. Other complete examples vary in size so one can imagine a child growing out of shoes and requiring replacements, an inescapable reality even for modern parents!"

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Vicinity of Antonine Wall


2nd century


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