Members of the research project Vindolanda Trust during excavations in the ancient Roman fortress Vindolanda found a small leather toy mouse, which was replenished with a rich collection of leather relics found here.

About the discovery told the website of the research project. Fortress Vindolanda, which now operates the eponymous Museum, located about a mile from the famous Hadrian’s wall – the wall built by the Romans to repel attacks from local tribes.

This fortress is known for its many discoveries. By the way, here were gathered the biggest in Britain, the collection of leather shoes from the Roman period. Here they found many other leather products and waste – a total of about 7000 items.

During the forced idle period of a pandemic of a novel coronavirus, the Museum staff decided to inspect the bags of waste. So they made a unique discovery – among the shapeless scraps of skin were found toy.

Archaeologists believe that it resembles a mouse. Its length is 12.2 cm, width 2.6 cm. Throughout the body are clearly visible marks – incisions made with a knife. They probably represent the eyes and fur of the animal. By the way, the leather trim of the bag, which was the mouse, was found in 1993.

They were then discovered during the excavation of the residence of the commander of the first cohort, which was moved to Britain from the territory of modern Belgium. This means that the mouse could be created between 105 and 130 BC. Perhaps it was a child’s toy. But scientists do not exclude that it could have been taken as a joke.

"One of the most remarkable things in the collection Vindolanda is that we never know what awaits us in the future – says the curator of the Vindolanda Trust Fund Barbara Birley. – Despite the fact that this year we had to postpone the beginning of the excavations, we see that in the collection there are still hidden treasures to find. At Vindolanda there is a lot of evidence that there were children, but we have very little toys".

Leather mouse now, will be on display in the Museum Vindolanda.