...the tile maker has left their handprint right in the centre of the tile, probably as a signature.
This is a large flat Roman floor tile called a sesquipedalis which was used to cap an elevated floor supported by pillars of smaller tiles.
The tile is scored with a comb pattern which enabled a good bond with mortar, and in this example the tile maker has left their handprint right in the centre of the tile, probably as a signature.
This tile was recovered with other discarded tiles and materials from a well discovered during excavations at Brading Roman Villa in 1881. These building materials may have come from an earlier phase of building which was demolished and used to infill the disused well.
Although there is some evidence that earlier cultures such as the Greeks may have invented the hypocaust, the Romans, as in so many other things, extended and developed the idea into a highly practical application.
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