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from Newstead, Roxburghshire

Postcard of Armour.
© National Museums Scotland


This brass scale armour was found during excavations at the site of the Roman fort at Newstead in Roxburghshire. It was worn by either a legionary or auxiliary soldier sometime between 140 and 180 AD.

The armour is a type known as lorica squamata. It was made of small plates of brass, here with 338 surviving, which were individually linked with brass wire and then laced onto a leather garment through the larger holes at the top.

Roman soldiers were very well armed. Unlike native society, armour, helmet and a sword were not signs of special wealth or status. Every soldier, infantry and cavalry, was fully equipped. Military equipment was mass produced.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-036-813-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 118
Date: Between 140 and 180 AD
Material: Brass
What: Armour, scale
Who: Newstead Collection
Where: Scotland, Roxburghshire, Melrose, Newstead
Description: Scale-armour from Newstead
  • Curle, J. A Roman frontier post and its people: the fort of Newstead. Glasgow: MacLehose, 1911, pp 158-9, Pl. XXIV. 
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