home | contents | glossary

Footprints Website by Will Higgs: Archaeological Section

Sus scrofa

Domestic Pig

Pig and dog footprints on Roman brick from Vindolanda

1st century Roman pedalis brick with three pig footprints (and two faint dog footprints). The disturbed area to the left may be where the edge of the brick has been broken down by another footprint and has been repaired while still soft.

Only the lower left pig footprint shows the dew-claws, the foot having sunk so deep into the brick that a piece of the surface was lifted off when the animal withdrew its foot. The upper shows "turned in" toes, indicating the mobility of pigs' toes. The individual toes are much more rounded and mobile than sheep/goat, which tend (in the latter) to form much more regular prints in most substrates.

A maker's single-line fingertip signature is also present in the upper left.

Approximate diameter of brick: 290mm.

Site1st Century Bath House, Vindolanda Roman site, Northumberland
Finding DateJuly 2000
Age of Substrate25th May (VII Kalendas Maias) 95AD !
Gaitslow walk
IdentificationPresence of dew claws on one print, shape and orientation of toes.
Held byVindolanda Trust

Pig footprints on brick from Hull

More of the same, on a late-mediaeval brick from Humberside. The depth of the imprints has meant that dew claws from both feet have left marks.

SiteHumberside area
Age of SubstrateLate mediaeval
GaitApparently stationary
IdentificationPresence of dew claws, shape of toes and tendency to splay at the tips.
Held byHumberside Archaeology Partnership