Tiles with paw prints

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Tiles with paw prints

The industry producing tiles for local buildings seems to have continued into the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. The precise place where it operated is not yet known, but was probably close to the present city centre.

Roman tiles were dried in the open air prior to firing. They quite commonly show impressions of dogs or cats - presumably pets who roamed around the tileries. These include (top left) the front and hind paw prints of a collie-spaniel-size dog, one of a Labrador-sized dog and the prints of a small dog or puppy (lower right, found at Topsham in 1974). The fact that the impressions of the rear and front paws are not overlapping precisely is evidence that the dog was domesticated.

Acknowledgments: RAM Museum Exeter Archaeology