Roman tile with dog footprint

Contributed by The Hunterian

Roman tile with dog footprint

This object from the collection of the Hunterian Museum was chosen, and written about, by Rachael Egan, honours student, Department of Classics, University of Glasgow.

This fragment of Roman terracotta tile was found on the site of the Roman fort and bath-house at Bothwellhaugh near Motherwell.

I find this item fascinating because of the impressed footprint. I feel that this type of artefact brings us even closer to the people, or in this case the animals, of the past. I can imagine this dog may have been a beloved pet of a Roman or Scot or may have been a stray that wandered around the fort site for scraps.

Such artefacts seem more immediate to me as there is direct evidence of the past on them and it also shows that little accidents happened back then too, humanising the artefact. Other artefacts and written sources from the past can give a bias or skewed image but this gives a very honest picture of the past with no hidden agendas or concern for status.

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Bothwellhaugh Roman Fort


2nd century AD


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