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Roman dog footprint, Vale and Downland Museum

We’ve all seen a footprint in wet concrete, set into the pavement for posterity. The Roman who made this clay tile probably didn’t expect a dog to run over it as it was drying, however. While archaeologists try to piece together evidence of human occupation and use of places in the past, it's nice that this pooch has left us a little clue, as well.

If I knew more about canine paw prints, I’d be looking to see what breed might have made this print (currently in the Vale and Downland Museum in Wantage) telling us the kinds of domesticated dogs in Roman Britain. I’m afraid I don’t, so it’ll have to remain a mystery to me, for the time being.

Archaeology has a habit of leaving us with more questions than it answers. For me, this is part of why it's continually fascinating.