Page:Horse shoes and horse shoeing.djvu/162

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HORSE-SHOES AND HORSE-SHOEING.

form of the nail-head in the Vingeanne specimens is that always found with the Gaulish or Celtic shoe.

The museum of Besançon is very rich in specimens of Celtic horse-shoes, as well as those of the Gallo-Roman and middle-age, according to M. Megnin. This may be explained by the importance which always attached to Besançon; at one time it ranked as the chief town of the Celtic Mandubians (Man Dubis=Man of Doubs); under the Romans it was the capital of Sequanian Gaul, Visontiuni; later, it was the principal city of the kingdom of Burgundy; as Bisanz, it was a part of the German empire; then it became the metropolis of the Bisontine archbishops, potent individuals in the middle ages; and lastly, it was the capital of Spanish Franche-Comté.

Its sub-soil offers traces of the industry and the arts of each of these epochs. More than a hundred pieces of antique farriery figure in its museum. Twenty of these are from the tumuli of Alesia; others have been found at variable depths in the sub-soil of the town in digging sewers, or excavating foundations for houses, and often side by side with mutilated marble statues, indicating that they belong to the Gallo-Roman period. Other shoes, apparently belonging to this epoch, have been met with by M. Delacroix in the clayey soil of Beaune and Candar; and some have been found at Montbéliard and Mandeure. At Besançon, but at a less considerable depth, shoes of better workmanship are encountered, but they are much heavier and clumsier than the Gallic and Gallo-Roman shoes, and may be allotted to the middle ages.

M. Delacroix reports in 1863: 'Excavations are