DOGS LONG DEAD AND GONE

 

A LEGACY IN BAKED CLAY

 

I have featured a few of these Roman roof tiles (tegula) that contain dog paw prints before on this blog. Quoting from one of my earlier posts: “The imbrex and tegula (plurals imbrices and tegulae) were overlapping roofing tiles that made a waterproof and durable roof covering. The tegula was a plain flat tile, or a flat tile with raised edges, which was laid flat upon the roof, while the imbrex was a semi-cylindrical roofing tile, like a half-pipe, laid over the joints between the tegulae. These tiles were large and heavy, although the sizes were highly variable, since there was no standardization. In general they were about about 60 cm (23.6 inches) long and about 45 cm (17.7 inches) wide. The tegula were formed of wet clay in a four-sided mold and they had to be left out to dry before being fired in a kiln to make them hard. And that is exactly where our archaeological moment occurs. While they were left out to dry dogs, cats, goats and even humans would sometimes walk over them and leave their footprints.”

Here we have two examples of roofing tiles from the Isis – Mater Magna temple excavation that have dog prints preserved in them. These tiles are some 1900 years old and have given us a look at a brief moment in the past when two different dogs happened to wander across an area where the molds for the roofing tiles were set out to dry. A small memorial to dogs long dead and gone…

 

000 Dogprints 1Photo taken at the excavation site of the Isis – Mater Magna temple in January 2001.


000 Dogprints 2Photo taken at the excavation site of the Isis – Mater Magna temple in February 2001.


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Categories: Archaeology, History, Perspective, Photography | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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