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Step into the past - ancient Roman puts his foot in it

A volunteer archaeologist digging at Vindolanda, the Roman fort on Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland, has unearthed a tile with a human footprint.

Ancient footrpint. Credit: Vindolanda Charitable Trust

The partial print of a right foot has been dated to 160-180 AD.

The volunteer who found the tile was student Mel Benard who is digging at Vindolanda with a Canadian Field School from the University of Western Ontario in Canada.

This was the first artefact that I had found, I knew straight away that it was a footprint and it is so exciting to have discovered something which links you directly to that individual nearly 2000 years later”

– Mel Benard
Mel Benard with footprint. Credit: Vindolanda Charitable Trust

It is not known whether the imprint happened accidentally or whether the person responsible mischievously stood on the freshly made tile.


Praise for Hadrian's Wall volunteers

The volunteers who help make Hadrian's Wall accessible to visitors are being thanked this week. Credit: PA

National Trust volunteers who work along Hadrian's Wall have been thanked for their hard work with a special viewing of some rare work by Northumberland engraver Thomas Bewick.

Thomas Bewick, who was born in Northumberland, helped pioneer print illustrations in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The event is part of National Volunteer Week, which is being marked across the country.

Heather Cook, from the National Trust, praised the "skills" and "passion" that volunteers bring to Hadrian's Wall.

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