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ScienceDiary and an Italian source for the deposit on the vessel seems most probable. Thustheauthorshaveconcludedthat the vessel is a relatively modern import during the last century and not as the label on the pot implies dug up in Cheshire.


The first example of an ancient false tooth has been found in the jaw of a 30 year-old man buried in a Gallo-Roman necropolis at Chan-

tambre, France, and is described by

Eric Crubezy of the University of Toulouse in Nature (391,1998,29). It is perhaps not surprising that more examples are lacking as the process of

R.P. Evershed and co-workers of 15 cm. Its overall length from nose to root of tail was approximately 60 (Nature, 390,1997,667). They used cm and its height at shoulder was 27 mass-spectrometry in conjunction constituents of frankincense were cm. He estimates that in life it would with gas chromatography and typical probably have weighed slightly under 28 lbs (10 kg). Both the radius and the tibia are bowed and very robust with thick walls. Three cut identified including pentacyclic triterpenoid and boswellic acids. There was also evidence for the presence of a pinaceous resin.

marks in the skull caused by a knife point are seen as stab marks and thus Baxter thinks that the burial of the

One is faced with the immediate problem as to where the frankincense dog was a sacrificial act. However,

although dogs may be buried with humans there was no human burial with the York Road dog and it may be a substitute for a dead person's originally came from, as it is obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia and these did not grow near Qasr Ibrim but are found in Arabia and Somaliland and would need to be body or intended to summon a missing person to his grave.

Baxter's examination of the York imported from there as would the pinaceous resin. The finding of the two resins together may imply that

Road dog is part of a larger study of fitting the false tooth must have ben extremely painful. It involved fash- small Roman dogs. These he classiioning the tooth out of iron and then hammering it into the empty socket fies into three discrete groups in terms of cranial and post-cranial in the jaw!

morphological traits. The animals in two of the groups are probably lap-

A Small RomanDog

Ian Baxter tells me that he has recently examined the skeleton of a dwarf hound found in a human-

dogs, whereas the York Road animal belongs to Group 3 which he thinks are specialised hunting dogs, possibly used to hunt boar and other game in dense undergrowth.

both were used together when incense was burnt.

Bullets orBlades

In CA 149 I reviewed Armouries monograph a Royal by Alan

Williams and Anthony de Reuck on the Greenwich Royal Armoury. In particular one of their conclusions was that during the period 1545-1567 there was an extended period of

MedbourneDonkey sized grave at York Road, Leicester. It is of 4th century date. The dog's grave was one of four graves, the others contained human burials orientated east-west. The dog, too,

seemed to be deliberately orientated, in its case northeast-southwest with


In CA 144, lan Baxter reported the finding of a medieval donkey at Medbourne, Leics., but he now says all is not what it seemed. Thus a recent AMS date has been obtained and comes out at 180 :!:35 BP making the donkey of late 18th/ early 19th century date and not medieval. Consequently earlier dated donkeys are still restricted to a Roman specimen from Newsteads and a pre-early

17th century example from Caldicote

(Herts) .

experimentation to increase the hardness of the steel employed. One of the authors (de Reuck) has now come up with an alternative explanation for the experimenting (J.Arms and Armour Soc.,XV (No7), 1998).

His argument is that the increasing use of firearms required an armour that was tough rather than hard so as to resist penetration.

Those still favouring protection against the cut and thrust of the sword required hardness in their steel but this embrittled it. Conse-

quently, experiments were needed to achieve the impossible, a steel which was both hard and tough. That is, a the head to the northeast.

Despite the large size of its grave, Baxter reports that the dog was a dwarf hound and, in life, would have


Spoon shaped incense burners with long handles are known from the compromise between embrittled hardness and softer toughness.

Tony de Reuck concludes that the efforts of the Almain armourers at

Greenwich were fruitless and they resembled a dachshund. Remains of Old Kingdom in Ancient Egypt. others of this size have been located, Now ancient samples of incense have were" attempting to reach the unat-

but complete skeletons are compara-

tively rare: small dogs such as this are not known before the Roman period.

The York Road dog had a head length been chemically characterised. These were from the cellar of a house at

Qasr Ibrim dating to around AD400500 and the work was undertaken by tainable summit of their profession".

He says that this was not to catch up with their numbers, continental but with opposite the aim of



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