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Hoop tongs

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found at Newstead, Roxburghshire

Hoop tongs
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These hoop tongs were found at the site of the Roman fort at Newstead in Roxburghshire. They were used by a blacksmith between 80 and 100 AD.

The tongs' pincers project at right angles to the main body of the tool. This design suggests that they were used for making and attaching the iron tyres which run round the circumference of wooden spoked wheels.

The Roman army needed blacksmiths to make iron tyres, fittings, and nails, as well as to repair weapons. A number of objects used in the smiddy have been found in the Roman forts. Tongs such as this one were used in later times by American pioneers.

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