Cat's paw print found in Roman tile at Lincoln dig

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cat print
Image caption,
Experts believe the cat stood on the tile as it was laid out to dry

A cat's paw print has been found in a 1,900-year-old Roman tile which was uncovered by an archaeological dig.

The historical artefact was found during construction of the £99m Lincoln Eastern Bypass.

Experts believe the cat left the mark when the tile was laid out to dry by a potter.

Ruben Lopez, site manager at Network Archaeology Ltd, said: "Many of us have pets and animals nowadays so you can see nothing has changed.

Tiles from the site near Washingborough Road, Lincoln, have also been found with the imprints of a dog's paw and a deer's hoof.

"It is exciting, this site here is one in a thousand," Mr Lopez added.

"The Romans had pets as we do.

"You identify with finds like this. We are used to it of course, it's our job, but it is always exciting to find something like this."

Image source, Lincolnshire County Council
Image caption,
Finds from the past 12,000 years have been identified at the dig

Large quantities of tiles have been discovered, evidence that points to a complex of buildings - possibly a villa - built around AD100.

Walls made of stone have been exposed and the tiles show it could have had a tiled roof and a hypocaust [hot air heating system] according to archaeology reports.

Image caption,
The most recent find at the site could be an ancient log boat

The Roman era of British history lasted from AD43 to AD410. However, a host of finds from the past 12,000 years have also been identified.

They range from flint tools used by Mesolithic hunter-gatherers and Bronze Age arrowheads to evidence of the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th Century.

Saxon burials and a possible Bronze Age boat have also been uncovered.

Archaeologists have been at the site since 2016. The five-mile (7.5km) Lincoln Eastern Bypass is due to open in October 2019.

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