Unique dog statue found in Gloucestershire Roman hoard
A Roman hoard dating to c. 318-450 CE and holding several hundred bronze objects has been found in Gloucestershire. Discovered by metal-detectorists in September, its contents included pieces of a large bronze statue, jewellery fragments, and a coin of ‘Crispus globe on altar’ type, dated to 321-324 CE and minted in Trier, Germany. It is thought that many of the objects in the hoard were deliberately broken before they were placed in the ground – perhaps by a local metalworker who was intending to melt and recast them later.
‘This Roman hoard dates to the 4th century and contains items ranging from small vessel fittings to a large bronze statue’, said Kurt Adams, Finds Liaison Officer for Gloucestershire and Avon. ‘Most amazing of all, though, is a complete and finely detailed standing dog statue, which is a unique discovery for British archaeology.’
The dog statue, with its tongue sticking out, is one of the best-preserved objects in the hoard. There are two holes on the animal’s upper left flank, where pins might have once mounted an object to the statue itself. The body of the animal is decorated with large asymmetrical ovals, some of which are filled with chevrons bisected by a vertical line, giving the appearance of layers of leaves or feathers.
A ‘licking dog’ statue found as part of an extraordinary Roman hoard.