Page last updated at 14:38 GMT, Wednesday, 23 July 2008 15:38 UK

Roman dog skeleton is 'donated'

Roman dog bones
The bones were donated to the charity shop anonymously

A Lincolnshire charity has had what could be a 2,000-year-old dog skeleton donated to one of its stores.

A note with the bones said they were Roman, excavated from a 1st Century AD pit at the Lawn in Lincoln in 1986.

Caroline Grosse, from St Barnabas Hospice in Lincoln, said: "I was a bit shocked as bones are not something you expect to find (donated in a box)."

Nicknamed Caesar, the dog bones will be handed over to The Collection museum in Lincoln, she said.

Mrs Grosse said the skeleton was discovered at the charity's sorting centre.

Missing dog

"It's not a big dog, probably like a small whippet or greyhound. There are lots of bones, though perhaps not all, but its like a big jigsaw puzzle," she added.

A note from the Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology which was included with the donation said the skeleton dated from the Roman era.

The charity shop has had some other odd donations, including false teeth and hearing aids.

David Moir, from the Association of Charity Shops, said other unusual donations to shops across the UK included a practice grenade, a donkey and a speedboat.

He said a 17th Century economics text book donated a few years ago sold for 18,000.

Antony Lee, collections officer at the museum, said: "Animal bones are very common finds on archaeological sites so they are not valuable as such but they are interesting.

"We will check records from the Lawn excavation and if there is a dog missing we will put him back in his kennel so to speak."

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