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found at Newstead, Roxburghshire

Postcard of Saw.
© National Museums Scotland


This small iron two-edged saw was found during excavations at the site of the Roman fort at Newstead in Roxburghshire. Unusually, it still preserves its original antler handle. The saw was used between 80 and 100 AD.

The blade has both fine and coarse teeth. It is hafted in a split antler handle, held firm by two metal rivets.

The Roman army employed professional carpenters for the many woodworking tasks involved in building and maintaining structures and in providing equipment for the troops. The Roman carpentry kit was specialised.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-036-931-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.FRA 262
Date: Between 80 and 100 AD
Material: Iron; antler handle
What: Handsaw
Who: Newstead Collection
Where: Scotland, Roxburghshire, Melrose, Newstead
Description: Two-edged iron handsaw in its original antler handle, from Newstead
  • Clarke, D.V., Breeze, D.J., and Mackay, Ghillean. The Romans in Scotland. An introduction to the collections of the National Museums of Antiquities of Scotland. Edinburgh: National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland, 1980, p 62. 
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