A 2,000-year-old roof tile which was dug up in Gloucester, UK, 45 years ago contains cat paw prints. They weren’t noticed at the time but an archaeologist going through Roman fragments of roof tiles at the city’s museum spotted them. They look small so perhaps they are a kitten’s prints.
During Roman times in Great Britain, roof tiles were dried outside so they were exposed to accidents occurring such as a cat walking over them before they were dry.
It is believed that this cat lived around AD 100. This is 1,915 years ago. In Britain Tiberius Avidius Quietus’ rule as governor ended.
This isn’t the first paw or foot print to be embedded into Roman roof tiles from Gloucester. There have been people’s foot prints and an imprint of a piglet but this is the first cat print from Gloucester as far as I am aware.
The tile can be seen at The City Museum and Art Gallery.
It is believed that the domestic cat was first introduced into Great Britain (now usually referred to as the UK) by the Romans. The Romans occupied the country from AD 43 to 409 when it was ruled by the Roman Empire.
This paw print was made by one of Britain’s first domestic cats. Sarah Hartwell writes:
“….Romans who first brought cats with them some time before 4 AD. Cat footprints have been discovered in clay tiles at Caesaromagus (Chelmsford, Essex).”
Sarah dates the arrival of domestic cats earlier. And it is nice to read that more cat paw prints have been discovered in another town.