Archaeologist stumbles across 2,000-year-old cat paw print on what was once a Roman roof tile

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Archaeology frequently entails digging up of skeleton remains, tombs and valuable artifacts from the olden days. Equally important, and more fascinating perhaps, is the discovery of a 2,000-year-old cat paw print on what was once a Roman roof tile. Currently kept at the Gloucester City Museum, in the southwest part of England, the tile fragment is one of the several thousand Roman relics, originally unearthed during a 1969 dig. The feline footprints, however, were only recently spotted by an archaeologist, while going through the museum’s collection.

According to the museum’s curator, David Rice, the tile fragment, containing the paw prints, dates back to around 100 AD. The cat is believed to have scurried across the wet clay tile, while it was left outside to dry in the sun. Speaking about the significance of the find, Rice said:

The tile, a type called tegula, was used on the roof of a building in what became the Berkeley Street area of modern Gloucester… The marks are the only example of Roman domestic cats that visitors can see in the museum. I believe there are more cat paw prints found on ancient Roman tiles in Britain than anywhere else in the Roman Empire including Italy. Roman Britons must have had a special liking for cats.

The tile, in question, is currently on display at Gloucester’s City Museum and Art Gallery.

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Via: Discovery News

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