Date:

Roman arm guard reconstructed

Conservators have reconstructed a rare piece of Roman armour from the National Museums Scotland’s collection.

The armour is a brass arm guard dated to the mid-2nd century AD, which will go in display in the British Museum’s exhibition “Legion: life in the Roman army” next month.

Extending from the shoulder, the arm guard concludes with a slender metal square designed to shield the wearer’s hand, possibly inspired by the equipment worn by gladiators in the arena.

Initially identified as body armour, later theories suggested that it served as a thigh guard for a cavalryman. Only in recent years has its true function been understood.

- Advertisement -

The conservators spent weeks rebuilding the object, which was discovered in hundreds of pieces along with remnants of leather straps at the site of the Trimontium fort near Melrose in 1906.

Dr Fraser Hunter, Principal Curator of Prehistoric & Roman Archaeology at National Museums Scotland, said: “This is an incredibly rare object, and it’s great that this exhibition gave us the opportunity to rebuild it. The transformation is striking.”

Now that it’s been reconstructed, you can picture the legionary who once wore it. It was both protection and status symbol – brass was expensive and would have gleamed like gold on his sword arm. It offers a vivid connection to this important period when Scotland sat on the Roman Empire’s northern frontier,” added Dr Hunter.

The fragments have been in National Museums Scotland’s collection for over a century. The upper section has been on display in the National Museum of Scotland for 25 years, with the lower section loaned to the Trimontium Museum and dozens of fragments stored at the National Museums Collection Centre.

For the first time, these fragments have been united and assembled, providing a window into the life of a Roman legionary in Scotland. After being showcased at the British Museum, the arm guard will be permanently exhibited at the National Museum of Scotland.

Header Image Credit : Duncan McGlynn

- Advertisement -

Mobile Application

spot_img

Related Articles

Geophysical study finds evidence of “labyrinth” buried beneath Mitla

A geophysical study has found underground structures and tunnels beneath Mitla – The Zapotec “Place of the Dead”

Discovery of a Romanesque religious structure rewrites history of Frauenchiemsee

Archaeologists from the Bavarian State Office for Monument Preservation have announced the discovery of a Romanesque religious structure on the island of Frauenchiemsee, the second largest of the three islands in Chiemsee, Germany.

Ring discovery suggests a previously unknown princely family in Southwest Jutland

A ring discovered in Southwest Jutland, Denmark, suggests a previously unknown princely family who had strong connections with the rulers of France.

Submerged evidence of rice cultivation and slavery found in North Carolina

Researchers from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) are using side-scan sonar and positioning systems to find evidence of rice cultivation and slavery beneath the depths of North Carolina’s lower Cape Fear and Brunswick rivers.

Study reveals oldest and longest example of Vasconic script

A new study of the 2100-year-old Hand of Irulegi has revealed the oldest and longest example of Vasconic script.

Archaeologists excavate the marginalised community of Vaakunakylä

Archaeologists have excavated the marginalised community of Vaakunakylä, a former Nazi barracks occupied by homeless Finns following the end of WW2.

Archaeologists find 4,000-year-old cobra-shaped ceramic handle

A team of archaeologists from National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan have uncovered a 4,000-year-old cobra-shaped ceramic handle in the Guanyin District of Taoyuan City.

Traces of Khan al-Tujjar caravanserais found at foot of Mount Tabor

During excavations near Beit Keshet in Lower Galilee, Israel, archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) have uncovered traces of a market within the historic Khan al-Tujjar caravanserais.