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The  Durobrivae of  Antoninus - Plate 43

P43. Iron instruments in castor.jpg

Artis never completed the words to accompany his drawings. The images below include interpretations provided by modern day archaeology specialists.

Plate 43.1

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Knife with the back and edge of the blade running in parallel until the back turns to run diagonally down to the tip.  The drawing suggests that it was socketed.  Although examples of knives with this type of blade are not common a number are known, and some are listed in Manning 1985, 116, but all of these are tanged rather than socketed. 

W H Manning - Jan 2019

Plate 43.2

Pl. XLIII_2.jpg

Knife with a short but wide, symmetrical blade with parallel edges (rather than an edge and a back) which run through relatively short convex curves to the point.  The illustration suggests that the shoulders may have narrow, plate-like tops.  The tang is surprisingly long for a knife with such a short blade.  It is a distinct, although somewhat uncommon, type, Type 21 in the classification in Manning 1985 (117, fig. 29). The long tang seen here is unusual.

W H Manning - Jan 2019

Plate 43.3

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Knife.  The back of the blade drops in a shallow curve from its junction with the tang to a slightly upturned tip.  The edge is stepped down from the tang before rising in an almost straight line to the tip.  It is probably an example of a Type 24 knife in the classification proposed in Manning 1985 (118, fig. 29) where it is suggested that the type originated in the Iron Age and was most common in the earlier years of the Roman period.

W H Manning - Jan 2019

Plate 43.4

Pl. XLIII_4.jpg

Knife with a relatively long blade with a straight back set slightly above the tang and an almost straight edge, which is stepped down from the tang and which slopes up at its end to meet the back in a pointed tip.  It is an example of Type 15 in the classification advanced in Manning 1985 (115, fig.28), the commonest type of Roman knife.

W H Manning - Jan 2019

Plate 43.5

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Spearhead.  The triangular blade is relatively short with sloping shoulders which met the edges in a sharp angle.   It is a small example of the commonest form of Roman spearheads.  Such spearheads are discussed in Manning 1985 (162ff.) where many examples from the early Roman fort at Hod Hill, Dorset are illustrated.  Spearheads of this type couldprobably  have been used by huntsmen as well as soldiers.

W H Manning - Jan 2019

Plate 43.6

Pl. XLIII_6.jpg

Barbed arrowhead with a small, damaged triangular blade and the remains of neck which will have run into the now lost socket.  Arrowheads of this type are surprisingly rare in Roman contexts, although the fact that some 800 were found in the principia of the Roman fort at Housesteads (Manning 1976, 22, fig. 14, 37-44) suggest that they were more widely used by the Roman army than the surviving examples might suggest.  As with the smaller spearheads we should not assume that arrowheads  such as these were not used by hunters.

W H Manning - Jan 2019

Plate 43.7

Pl. XLIII_7.jpg

Small spearhead of the same general  type as No. 5 above.

W H Manning - Jan 2019

Plate 43.8

Pl. XLIII_8.jpg

Small conical ferrule of a type which is very common in both military and civilian contexts, presumably being used to protect the butts of spears in the former case, and staves and the like in the latter.  They are discussed and many examples cited on Manning 1985 (140.).

W H Manning - Jan 2019

Plate 43.9

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Small and damaged socketed spearhead.  Originally probably similar to, but smaller than, Nos. 5 & 7 above.

W H Manning - Jan 2019

Plate 43.10

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Turf cutter.  Half of the crescentic blade and the damaged neck and socket of a turf cutter.  Turf cutters are not uncommon finds on Roman sites, both civilian and military and were probably used to cut turves for use as fuel rather than to manicure the edges Roman lawns.  An exceptionally well-preserved example of late first century date from the Roman fort at Newstead is figured in Curle 1911 (284, p. LXI, 3).

W H Manning - Jan 2019


Manning, W. H. 1985:  Catalogue of the Romano-British Tools, Fittings and Weapons in the British Museum (London)

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