"Tally-ho" seal brings smiles in Lufton

Lufton, England has been the site of settlement from the Iron Age to the present, but archaeologists working on the Roman era of the town were amused to discover a wax seal from the Middle Ages, decorated with a light-hearted hunting scene. (photo)

The seal, dating to between 1250 and 1400, is inscribed with the words SOhOV ROBEN and a picture of a rabbit with a hunting horn riding a hound. “This is an exciting discovery and an example of medieval humour or wit. Sohov is an Anglicised French hunting call like 'tally-ho' and Roben is a typical French name for a dog during the period - like Fido or Rover. The design ironically references the nobility's love of hunting. It mocks this favoured pursuit by reversing the normal order of things, with the hare being the hunter,” said Dr James Gerrard, a lecturer in Roman archaeology at Newcastle University.