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Chain mail (detail)

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from Newstead, Roxburghshire

Chain mail (detail)
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This is a detail of a corroded mass of iron chain mail found during excavations at the site of the Roman fort at Newstead in Roxburghshire. It is from body armour worn by either a legionary or auxiliary soldier sometime between 140 and 180 AD.

Some of the links of the chain mail were hammered flat and riveted together while others were welded. The two different techniques were arranged in alternate rows. When complete, each ring was attached to four others.

Chain mail, made in bronze or iron, was worn by both Roman legionary and auxiliary soldiers. The most common type of Roman body armour, however, was known as lorica segmentata. It consisted of overlapping plates, and was worn by legionary soldiers.

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