Archaeologist`s find: Red clay dog

NEWS | Published: 29.7.2016
Red clay dog from the excavations. Photo: Kim Krappala / Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova

This summer Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova conducts archaeological excavations in the cellar of the museum`s office building, Konsulinna, situated on the same lot as the museum. The site has very likely been inhabited since the 14th century. During the summer we display finds from the excavations in the museum`s lobby and on our webpage.

Beneath the pavement of Hämeenkatu, we discovered an archaeologically exceptional toy item. The spotted dog figurine in the display case is made of red clay, and has been in use on the 18th or the beginning of the 19th century. The toy dog was discovered in a soil layer dating to the great fire of Turku in 1827. The use of animal figurines spread to Finland from Germany in the Middle ages. So far, only one other undated red clay dog has been discovered in archaeological excavations in Turku. Besides dogs, also toy horses, rams and moose were manufactured out of red clay beginning with the Middle ages.