Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Dog (and Her Boy) Uncover 2,000 Year Old Roman Pot in England

The heroine of this story is actually the doggy, Meg, who starting digging and uncovered the pot but, alas, no photo of Meg, the springer spaniel, in the article and nor is she credited with the discovery!  Bad, bad newspaper!

From the
Seaton boy finds priceless Roman pot in Maryport
Last updated at 23:12, Thursday, 23 September 2010

TEN-year-old Nathan Poland stumbled upon something special when his dog dug up a 2,000-year-old pot as they walked around Maryport.

Nathan Poland and the 2,000 year
old pot his doggy, Meg, uncovered.
Nathan and dad Lee, of Hunter’s Drive, Seaton, often walk their Springer Spaniel Meg in the town, and when she began doing what she loves best by digging a hole, Nathan spotted what looked like an orange brick.

“When I pulled it out it was a pot with decorations all around it and I knew straight away it was Roman,” said Nathan, who has found several other pieces of pottery and Roman nails in the past.

Jane Laskey, curator at Maryport’s Senhouse Roman Museum, said the pot was a piece of Samianware from the late second century or early third.

It was a “remarkable find” because, although the Romans brought a lot of Samianware to Britain, this piece was in very good condition and had a lot of decoration.

“There are images of hunting scenes,” she said.  “There’s a deer, lions, hunting dogs. It is not as gaudy as some of this pottery can be.  It looks as though the artist has really thought it out.”

She said it had been recycled as a cremation bowl, and tests were being carried out on its contents to see if bones found within it are human, animal or a mixture of both.

Mrs Laskey said: “We will be able to tell if there was one or more people in the pot. If there are animals’ bones it could give us an insight of what might have been eaten at the funeral feast.”

The pot also contained nails which may have been hob nails from shoes, nails left in scrap wood used for the funeral pyre or even nails from a stretcher on which a dead person or people lay.

“I do not know the commercial value of this pot but it is priceless because it can tell us so much,” said Mrs Laskey.

Nathan, who is now the owner of the pot, has given it to the museum to keep for him and it is on display there.  Details of where and when it was found are being kept secret to preserve any other artifacts at the site.  The museum did not make the find public until it had been checked by experts.

First published at 19:34, Thursday, 23 September 2010
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