87 (2) pp 105

Roman dog burial in Tongeren (Belgium)

A skeleton of a large mature, probably male, dog was excavated in the city center of Tongeren, oncea Roman city in Belgium. Together with the skeleton, a circular food bowl in terra sigillata pottery wasdiscovered, positioned near the mouth of the dog, from which the upstanding edges had been removed.This was interpreted as a grave offering, representing symbolically that care was taken of the animalafter death but that the bowl had become useless now. This habit of adding a circular bowl also fits ina Celtic mythical tradition, with dogs biting off pieces of the full moon and creating the moon cyclus.Circular bowls represent the moon and are related to the mythical dogs or wolves.The archeological find is exceptional but fits into the long standing tradition of dog burials, starting14 200 years ago with the Bonn Oberkassel dog and continuing into the present. Up till now, someowners still add goods to the resting place of their pets.

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pp 105-109
Veterinary past