Roman Hound

Roman Hound

...used as an ornament or as a votive offering.

This figurine of a 'long-nosed hound' may have been used as an ornament or as a votive offering. Some dogs were attached to healing sanctuaries, and were seen as sacred, licking the wounds of the sick. Dogs are also depicted in hunting scenes, and other breeds, such as mastiffs, were used in conflict.

This dog is shown with a collar, and the hatchings along the side, and on the shoulder represent hair. It is made of cast copper alloy, and is just under 4cm long. It is believed to date from the fourth century AD.

The figurine was discovered by a metal detectorist on the Isle of Wight, and reported to the Finds Liaison Officer, under the Portable Antiquities Scheme. This scheme encourages the voluntary recording of archaeological items. Treasure items have to be reported by law. Further details, including a very useful database can be found at www.finds.org.uk

Quick Facts

  • Accession number 2007 OE 74
  • Made of cast copper alloy
  • Dimensions Length 3.9cm. Width 3.5cm, Thickness 13.5mm
  • Weight 34.72g
  • Date made About the fourth century AD
  • Found at Newchurch, Isle of Wight
  • Date found 2005


  • The most famous example of a figurine of a Roman hound used as a votive offering is from Lydney, Gloucestershire, where several bronze dogs from the fourth century have been found in a Roman temple dedicated to Nodens, the Celtic god of healing.

Did you know?

Over 27,000 archaeological objects for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, reported between 1997 and 2011, can be viewed on the Portable Antiquities Scheme website.

Fact Sheets

Find out more about this object by viewing its Portable Antiquities Scheme Record

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