Entrenching tool

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from Newstead, Roxburghshire

Postcard of Entrenching tool.
© National Museums Scotland

Entrenching tool

This iron entrenching tool was found at the site of the Roman fort at Newstead in Roxburghshire. It was used between 80 and 100 AD.

The mattock-like tool has a broad, somewhat tapering blade at one end, and a pointed pick at the other. The handle fitted through the central hole.

Digging tools must have been used as much as weapons by Roman soldiers. On the march, soldiers built temporary ramparts and ditches around their camps. Once an area had been conquered, the army built forts and permanent barracks of wood or stone.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-102-471-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 294
Date: 80 - 100 AD
Between 80 and 100 AD
Material: Iron
Who: Newstead Collection
Where: Scotland, Roxburghshire, Melrose, Newstead
Description: Iron entrenching tool from the Roman site at Newstead, 80 - 100 AD
  • Curle, J. A Roman frontier post and its people: the fort of Newstead. Glasgow: MacLehose, 1911, p. 283, Pl. LXI, 9. 
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