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From Newstead, Roxburghshire

Postcard of Axehead.
© National Museums Scotland


This iron axehead was found at the site of the Roman fort at Newstead in Roxburghshire. This picture shows the side of the axe, on which a personal name and the name of the century have been inscribed using dots. The axe dates from 80 to 100 AD.

The inscription reads 'BARRI COMPITALICI' which can be translated as 'Property of Compitalicus in the century of Barrus'.

Each legion was divided into ten cohorts, most of which were composed of 480 men, which in turn had six centuries of 80 men. Many Roman soldiers could read and write to some extent, and marked their names on their belongings.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-036-910-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 236
Date: Between 80 and 100 AD
Material: Iron; inscribed with both owner's inscription and maker's mark. Inscription: [Centurial mark]; Barri; in second line: Compitalici
Dimensions: 10.00" L
What: Axe, felling / axe, shaping
Who: Newstead Collection
Where: Scotland, Roxburghshire, Melrose, Newstead
Description: Heavy duty iron felling or shaping axe inscribed with both owner's inscription and maker's mark, from Newstead
  • Curle, J. A Roman frontier post and its people: the fort of Newstead. Glasgow: MacLehose, 1911, pp 282-3, Pl. XLI. 
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